Maya is an extremely complex software package as anyone who works in it will tell you. Tradigital Maya is nearly twice as thick as the 3ds Max version of this same title. Be aware that this book is for intermediate to advanced users. The purpose of the book is not to teach you modeling, texture-mapping, lighting, rigging, IK, etc, but how to apply classic animation techniques to Maya. These principles were enumerated and made famous by the book Disney Animation: The Illusion of Life. You should already have a solid understanding of the software, because this book dives right into the individual lessons after a brief intro.
These principles add realism, zing, expressiveness and effectiveness to your animation. You may already know some of these from watching cartoons. They are:
4 Straight ahead action and pose to pose
5 Follow through and overlapping action
6 Ease in and ease out
7 Squash and stretch
8 Secondary action
11 Solid drawing
These are traditional techniques you'll find in any animation and can be applied to any software or medium, whether it's Flash, Maya, or something else. Squash and stretch, exaggeration, for example, you'll often see in cartoons like Tom & Jerry or Looney Toons animations. I use these principles and easing when animating in Flash as well. Each chapter begins with a passage from the Illusion of Life and each lesson is based around one of these principles. A detailed and easy to follow workshop illustrates how to put these ideas into practice. The screenshots are plentiful and in full color, like other Focal Press books. Almost every page has a screenshot, and the major of pages have rows of figures, owing to the need to show frames over time. The book itself is heavy and of substantial weight. All the work files are available on the publisher's website, eliminating the need for a DVD that can get misplaced or damaged.
Author Lee Montgomery comes with solid game industry credentials (Grand Theft Auto III), unlike some authors I've reviewed who only come from an academic background and wrote books. It really shows in the quality of the models used throughout the book.
Maya is an incredibly complex program that takes years to master and this a good resource for your library.