Head First jQuery
Ryan Benedetti & Ronan Cranley
O’Reilly Publishing provided me access to an electronic copy of this book for review purposes.
A basic introduction to jQuery and scripting
One of the first things that stands out about this book (and the Head First series in general) is the bright, colorful, and plentiful images used to help illustrate concepts and how jQuery works. They also provide illustrations on how to walk through the specific problem at hand, which is often nice to see in a visual format…even if it is just notes on a pad of paper. The other highlight of the Head First series (and this book is no exception) is that it’s written in a clear easy to understand language, it’s written for the novice programmer–one that’s still learning how programming works and for someone that’s looking for an overview of the language. In this book the authors give you a specific situation–a client wants work done on their website– walk you through how to solve the problem step by step, and with illustrations to help you solve the problem. This method can be a very helpful way to introduce aspects of jQuery as it walks through problems that you might encounter when building/developing your website and ways that jQuery can over come that problem.
But like every “Head First” title the illustrations won’t work for everyone. I find it helps if you’re coming from a nontraditional background or from a more creative bent (left brain.) And even then sometimes the images and graphics can be overwhelming, which is a problem that I find sometimes in this book. I found that thT images, while helpful in the beginning, often start to become overwhelming as you get more and more into the problem being solved and make it a bit difficult at times to concentrate on following the step by step instructions.
Overall this is a fairly good introduction book and easy to read if you’re coming from a nontraditional programming background (and are left brain) then this might just be the book for you to learn more about scripting languages. If you’re more right brain then you might want to look for a more traditional book on jQuery, such as “Learning jQuery, Third Edition” from Pact.