I really love this book. Its well written and easy to dip into. It also gives a good range of instructions for beginners, teaching both right hand and left hand methods of knitting, a range of cast ons, and what to do when it all goes wrong!
The book makes a good starting point for new knitters, explaining everything really well and even including reviews of other knitting books.
The patterns are also lovely. They are largely aimed at twenty-somethings, and range from the fairly plain that could be made more or less funky by the choice of yarn, to a (rather skimpy) knitted bikini. There are a few patters especially designed for new knitters to get up their confidence, and a good range of smaller projects, as well as a few jumpers. There are a few errors in the patterns themselves, but you'll get this with most knitting books, and corrections are on the books website.
The only reason this doesn't get 5 stars is that because it is American many of the yarns specified cannot be purchased over here. They can of course be substituted, and the patterns include the yardage of the yarn to make this easier. Also, some of the yarns specified are pricey. But still, overall a very good book