Expecting a textbook sized product, I was suprised to recieve a pocket sized paperback. (the cover is 14.5cm x 10cm)
My major concern however is the content. As a beginner to learning Japanese I had hoped for a simple, easy to read format, and the description on the back of the book reads "students will find this compact volume an entertaining and effective way to master the art...."
Entertaining, yes. For the wrong reasons. The characters are introduced in a seemingly random order. Also, whilst the derivation/pictographs of a few of the characters can be understood, the majority have no clear connection to the character, and therefore do not help at all in learning the character.
I was also suprised that perhaps the simplest, most usesful characters to learn, the numbers 1-10, are at the BACK of the book. Many useful words and phrases are left out and there are, instead, some rather less useful entries; such as "nostril hair", "surface of the moon" and "decrease in the number of children due to low birth rate".
Overall, interesting to read as an overview of kanji but not recommended as a learning resource.