This is not really a beginners' book, as Dutch structures and linguistic twists are dropped in right from the start. But it is really outstanding if you have already made some headway in Dutch and have mastered some of the basic principles.
I got about halfway through the excellent grammatically-based "Teach Yourself Complete Dutch" & "Hugo Dutch in Three Months", when I realised I could do with a bit more vocabulary, and more practice in building basic conversational sentences.
Oosterhoof fulfils this need in a way which goes way beyond "conversational" texts, as she introduces Dutch by using words in groups where they are part of a theme. This is something I've never encountered before in any language I've tackled, and find it quite amazing! For example, A typical teaching block on page 35 starts with the title:
"Order of Events - First, Then, Afterwards, Next, Following that, Further, Finally" where the Dutch words are given for the English ones I've listed.
Then there's a little paragraph in Dutch, describing a simple scene, where each sentence will contain one of these similar words, followed by the English translation:
"FIRST, he drinks coffee & reads the newspaper from cover to cover. THEN he goes jogging a bit. AFTERWARDS he goes to the market with Sanne. NEXT, he washes the car. THEN, he does some chores around the house, and LASTLY, he watches TV with the family."
If you ever look into memory improvement courses, you'll find they always emphasise the need for ASSOCIATION. We can remember better when things are associated together, and the author's grouping of associated words, rather than strict grammar or casual conversation is a real winner for me. The above example occupies but half a page of the book, which gives you an idea of how much the book is packed with these "useful little sentences".
(The other block on the same page covers the associated words for "always, usually, often, sometimes, seldom, never" )
Unfortunately, no accompanying CD, but this is easily remedied by producing your own recordings. Something fairly straightforward with any cheap MP3 player (or phone?) possessing a built-in mike. My MP3 player records audio as WAV data, which produces largish file sizes. These are easily converted to the compact MP3 format using something like the free "Audacity" audio editing software.
Of course, you need to have a half-decent Dutch accent to produce a worthwhile recording, and that's probably the major challenge! And why using another text first is essential.
EDIT: A word of caution. It IS "a Dutch grammar" & you will find grammatical terms used throughout the book. For example, the chapter on adjectives refers to "predicate adjectives", which may throw you if you have not had a grammar-based education (and even if you have!). But Oosterhoof always explains these terms clearly, with simple examples, before they are used.
A basic tool to acquire a thorough knowledge of the Ducth grammar. Not a textbook as it has already been mentioned, but a serious guide enabling you to master both morphology and syntaxis. The best manual I have found so far among the various courses available, which start with a full immersion in the spoken Language but lead to poor results.