Hi, I’m Miriam.

A mom, software developer and programming teacher dedicated to making computers more approachable, friendly and easy to understand to get you and your family all excited about technology.


I'm the author and illustrator of Zerus & Ona, the picture book series that introduces computer basics for kids age 3+, willing to spark their curiosity for the world of computers.

I want to make it easy for you to talk to your kids about computer related topics, even if you don't know how they work or haven't done any programming before.

 

miriam tocino computer basics for kids  

Now, I haven't always been this passionate about computers.

Back in college, I studied architecture. It's true though that my dad always wanted me to go into Computer Science. But, as it turned out, I had to try other things first to find my own way into it.

As a young kid, I thought that computers were gray and boring. I wanted to be doing something creative, colorful. And I wanted to be doing things that helped other people around me.

So, I became an architect. Which seemed like the perfect fit... for a while.

Until I met my husband. He's a video game programmer and he LOVES his work. From the very first date, we were talking about all that geeky technical stuff.

And then it hit me.

I came to see how programming could be a very creative activity, where you're constantly coming up with new ideas, finding solutions and ways to build them. It gives you the tools to make beautiful, useful things that people will love.

In summer 2013, I quit my job as an architect and taught myself how to code. Ever since, I’ve been working as a software developer, educator, writer, artist and now also as a mom.

It took me more than 30 years to find that creative, colorful, human side of technology. And I wouldn't like my kid to miss that.

 

computer basics for kids zerus and ona miriam tocino

We now live in a world where our children will become familiar with computers and other types of devices from a very early age.

Three years ago, when I had my baby, this got me thinking about the way in which I'd like to introduce him to the world of computers.

We know that kids build their reality from books since they're very little. We see it every day at home. So, together with my husband, we began to say:

"Wouldn't it be cool if we read him stories happening inside a computer? About how computers do math, or graphics, or how the internet works? And... what if they were told by a zero and one?!"

And that's how Zerus & Ona were born.

 

computer basics for kids

Not every child needs to become a programmer.

But, it’s important that we give our children a bigger understanding of the world that affects them.

And they also need to know that understanding computers and how they work will give them SUPERPOWERS. It'll become part of their toolkit to express themselves and create their own world.

In whatever way they choose.

 

understanding computers is a superpower

 

That’s why it’s important to come up with fresh, exciting, innovative ways to introduce kids to the world of technology. 

To reach as many children as we can.

Eventually, getting more children interested in technology will also end up building a more diverse tech industry in the upcoming years and decades, making it more inclusive.

Historically, diversity has been a force for social progress and development.

And given the importance that technology has in our daily lives now, the more diverse these tech teams become, the more caring, human and loving digital world we'll all be experiencing.

Storytelling would be a beautiful way to achieve that.

And I believe that projects like Zerus & Ona could help us all get there sooner and faster.

 

computer basics for kids zerus and ona



If you like what you're seeing . . .

The first title in the Zerus & Ona collection is already out.

Zerus gets a Virus is a story about computer security and viruses, including a Parent Guide and a Glossary. ENGLISH, DUTCH and GERMAN editions are now available and you can order them here.

I'm constantly creating extension activities around the books and sharing ideas on how to raise children in digital world. If you're into it, subscribe here to the mailing list to get them straight to your inbox.

It's exciting to have you and your kids on board!

With love,

Miriam 

P.S. If you want to know more about the back story and the origins of Zerus & Ona, watch below the interview from the book launch of Zerus gets a Virus.