Those of you who need to learn database fundamentals but dislike reading textbooks might be interested to know that No Starch Press is offering a new book that takes a non-traditional approach to teaching how databases work. The Manga Guide to Databases, which was written by Mana Takahashi, uses a Japanese comic book format and a "database fairy" named Tico to teach you how to design and manage databases. So what could possibly be the plot of such a book? Well according to No Starch Press, "The lovely Princess Ruruna has a problem: her fruit-selling kingdom is a tangle of conflicting and duplicated data, and it has become really hard to sort the melons from the apples and strawberries. But what can she do? Why, build a relational database of course, with the help of Tico, the magical database fairy."

This book uses real-life examples to walk you through database basics, including using set and relational operations to extract data from relational databases, applying the entity-relationship model to accurately represent data, setting user permissions, using transactions and locks, and using SQL to update and retrieve data and create reports. The Manga Guide to Databases also discusses more in-depth topics, such as security, replication, disaster recovery, and indexing.

"Databases are essential for any modern IT project, but they can be really intimidating for non-specialists," said William Pollock, the founder of No Starch Press. "The wonderful thing about The Manga Guide to Databases, and all of the books in this series, is that the manga story carries the reader through the book, and the learning happens almost effortlessly. Databases are presented as something fun, not something dreadful. Even pure manga fans approve of the books' shoujo-style manga."

The Manga Guide to Databases is one of several EduManga books that No Starch Press is offering in 2009. The Manga Guide to Statistics is also currently available, and The Manga Guide to Electricity, The Manga Guide to Calculus, and The Manga Guide to Physics are all scheduled to be released later this year. You can find out more about The Manga Guide to Databases on the No Starch Press website.