Menlo Park, California: Sunset Books
paper, 192 p., $19.95.
The editors refer to this book as "The A-Z Handbook." For new gardeners, the information provided here is accurate, readable and thorough, covering all the basic areas of gardening. The danger, of course, in covering all the basics in 192 pages (and publishing this information for the entire country) is that it becomes too basic. Insects (with color photos), soils, types of flowers, tools, fertilizers, pruning and how to read a pesticide label are all discussed, with graphically interesting illustrations and a layout that avoids the "too much text" look of reference books. Sunset Books, in general, have a slightly breezy, casual style with their information presented in "a sampler of perennials" or "a sampler of trees" format. This is a very basic book for the first-time gardener.
— Lee Randhava