If there's anyone around who knows very little about Picasso, this might be the First Book--it's popular without being puerile, descriptive and explanatory rather than critical. In contrast to predecessors in this series, the World of Picasso revolves rather narrowly around the painter; this doesn't begin to be an account of the twentieth century or its art except at the instant at which Picasso (and Braque) transformed structure in their early cubist collaborations. While attesting to the artist's continued vigor and inventiveness, it does little to relate his work after 1930 to that of his contemporaries, or, perhaps more serious, theirs to his, and the treatment of the post-World War II period is fragmentary and superficial. But the kind of person who'll read this kind of book won't care; he'll see the landmark paintings and their antecedents respectably characterized; glance at the sculptures, prints, pottery; meet the succession of wives and/or mistresses sympathetically introduced; and spend a very few moments with the master himself. If he wants to, he can even skip the biographical text and proceed through the musee imaginaire of the color plates and their extended captions.