Generally, I don't buy books that start off with "The Complete Idiot's Guide To..." anything. Sometimes those books just aren't worth the money.
BUT, June Gilbank's* new book The Complete Idiot's Guide to Amigurumi does not fit into that description.
I am familiar with M's Gilbank's whimsical work through her blog site, Planet June. I've purchased a few patterns from her and have found the patterns to be well written and concise. Obviously, she tests these patterns thoroughly so there isn't that thought while you making something that "yeah, it's supposed to look like groundhog but it looks more like a monstrous snake". If the pattern is describing how to make a groundhog, you will achieve a groundhog that you can be proud of and show off.
Plus the directions are easy. If it says "start off with a magic ring", that's what you do. And if you don't understand how to make a magic ring, M's Gilbank walks you through the procedure, complete with black and white close-ups so you can understand what is being produced. This is a great help for those of us that needs the visual to go along with the written word.
M's Gilbank includes directions to make tubes, cones and circles so you can plan to make your own amigurumi design. Maybe you want to do one of your cat and you can't quite find any suitable pattern. With M's Gilbank's instructions, you will be able to figure out exactly what shape the body parts should be. You'll also be able to figure out, with M's Gilbank's instructions, where and how the color changes should be executed. She also offers various options to give your amigurumi a special look - maybe handmade eyes?
There are a total of four patterns in the book - hamster, mushroom, boy and girl. Normally I'd say "only 4 patterns!" but it's not just about the patterns. "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Amigurumi" is just the starting point for your amigurumi adventures. You will be inspired to make up different amigurumis just to see how they will look.
If you crochet, you should definitely buy this book. If you want to learn how to crochet, you should buy this book. And if you just want to see some cute toys, buy this book. This is a great book and I think every crocheter should own it. You will really enjoy this book.
*no, I'm not her sister, agent, mother, friend, just a very satisfied customer