The aim of this text is to introduce the beginner to the theory of Riordan arrays. Starting in a simple and constructive manner, the basic structure of these arrays is explained with clear examples, before a more theoretical grounding is provided. Ordinary Riordan arrays and exponential Riordan arrays are examined, with many explicit examples, and their applications to combinatorics and other areas are explored. The production matrix of a Riordan array is shown to play a key role, along with various sequence characterizations. Formal prerequisites are kept to a minimum, in order to provide a gentle introduction to this exciting area, that involves linear algebra, group theory and combinatorics. The reader will be well positioned to further explore Riordan arrays and their applications, and to undertake their own projects. They will join a community of interested mathematicians that now spans all continents, in a growing area of research and application.