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Mike Riley

Dr. Dobb's Bloggers

The Manga Guide to Databases Review

February 21, 2009

No Starch Press recently published another technical book in their unique Manga Guide series, with this latest work focused on databases.  My daughter Marielle once again stepped into the role of guest reviewer to express her written opinion about this book.

The Manga Guide to Databases Book Review
by Marielle Riley

The Manga Guide to Databases is a comedy romance comic book designed to make learning about databases easy and fun. Princess Ruruna, the young princess of the Kingdom of Kod, is left at home by her parents to take care of their kingdom. Problems with organization, business and complications overrun the princess' life as she tries to fix the challenges between the different departments of the land. When the princess' assistant Cain brought her a strange package, Ruruna discovered it to be a magical book on how to use databases. When opened, a tiny fairy named Tico emerged from the pages to aid Cain and the Princess through their lessons and adventures in database theory.

The book is comprehensible to any younger readers willing to take the time to learn about databases. Slow and explanatory, over half of the book is established on vocabulary throughout the book. However, this does make dealing with all the memorization of these terms a bit of a drag. Also, the characters and settings of princesses, kingdoms, and fairies are themes probably more appropriate for girls to read than for boys who would prefer reading about dragons and knights instead. Twenty dollars for the book is a fair price to pay for a manual about databases, but this book is not a bedtime story. It does achieve what it intends, which is making sure you know how to understand what databases are and how they work.

Compared to another book I read last year with my dad, called Head First SQL, the Manga Guide to Databases is more focused on learning the theory behind databases. Head First SQL provides a more practical, sit in front of the computer and follow along approach. I found The Manga Guide to Databases more entertaining and would recommend it to those with no prior database educational background. After that, Head First SQL would be a good book to learn how to apply the knowledge gained from the Manga Guide.



Title: The Manga Guide to Databases
Authors: Mana Takahashi and Shoko Azuma
Publisher: No Starch Press
ISBN: 978-1-59327-190-9
Price: $19.95 US


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