For those just venturing into the craft and art of cookie decorating, this book is a must. The book starts by covering all the basic tools (and where to get them), tools to avoid, and tools to put on your wish list. Next, Julia explains the how-to's of doughs (rolling, cutting, baking), how to make a pastry cone, and the various "bedazzlers" (extras you can put on your cookies in addition to royal icing). Then comes the tour-de-force section--"15 bottom-to-top decorating techniques"--all the different methods to ice a cookie. Everything is illustrated, step by step, with clear photos, so you know exactly what to do. Even marbling, stenciling, and using decorative wafer papers are covered. These are followed by a section on decorative borders, including beadwork. At the end of the book are recipes and tips for making the perfect consistencies of icing for piping, flooding, and "topcoating" -- even tips on how to make sure your icing makes a perfect, rounded bead. No more pointy dots for anyone! The next 150+ pages are dedicated to various cookie projects, which are explained in minute detail with accompanying photos of each stage. The end of the book is dedicated to various recipes for doughs, icings, and modelling media. A really lovely book; clear, well-written, and well-illustrated. Julia takes the fear and mystery out of cookie decorating, and makes the reader feel that anything is possible with practice. Highly recommended!