This is distinguished from other bonsai books seen by the fact that the author, an American, has approached her subject from the viewpoint of selecting available American material, adapting methods from the Japanese, but finding short cuts, and acquiring the Oriental sense of ""gel""- the blending into a harmonious whole of ""style, personality and charm."" Step by step she takes the reader through selection of the tree, what points to look for, choosing a container, moving and first potting, preparation of soil mixture, pruning, watering, feeding, summer and winter protection, avoidance of pests and diseases, transplanting, and so on. In the last half these steps are approached more from the angle of the art of growing bonsai than the practical how-to, and some of the fine points that will distinguish the finished product are explained. A list at the end will for many prove perhaps the most valuable section of all, with best available species indicated, along with brief descriptions, indications as to growth habits, and something of placement and cultivation. This should be a valuable primer for aspirants.