Susan Polgar and Paul Truong, A World Champion's Guide to Chess: Step-by-Step Instructions for Winning Chess the Polgar Way! Russell Enterprises, 2015. 384 pp. $19.95.
I'll start with two grumpy old guy "get off my lawn!" critiques. First, there is simply no need for any more beginner's books. If you've found one you like, then get that one for the young novices in your life when they want to pick up the game. Second, the book's covers are loaded with entirely unnecessary self-promotion. One need not be a grandmaster, a world champion (the front cover implies that this is in the present tense, but her reign ended in 1999), or an "Internationally Acclaimed Chess Trainer!" to write a book for beginners.
With that out of the way, and remembering the adage about not judging a book by its cover (or by the first part of the introduction), let me say that it's a very good first book for beginners, particularly for young children. If you don't have a first chess book in mind to give the young novices in your life, you could certainly do worse than this one.
The first part consists of four tutorials covering all the rules of chess, including the different ways a game can be drawn, and concludes with a short primer on chess notation.
The next part, "Section I", consists of 18 chapters. The first, "Checkmate in One Move with Each of the Pieces", gives the student 100 positions to solve - you can see the influence of her father here (cf. his massive Chess: 5334 Problems, Combinations and Games), and that's essentially the pattern you'll see through the rest of the book. Polgar clearly subscribes to the medieval saying that repetition is the mother of learning, and since I'm a fellow subscriber I'm along for the ride. The next 17 chapters include traditional topics like forks, pins, skewers, discovered attacks, double check and so on, but there are also some slightly non-traditional topics like underpromotion and defending by check or pin.
Section II has one chapter, "32 Key Endgame Positions". It includes the elementary mates, opposition and some other king and pawn endgame basics, the bishop and wrong rook's pawn (or rook's pawn and wrong bishop, if you prefer), Philidor's Position and the Lucena Position in rook endings, and so on.
Section III again returns to the Laszlo Polgar modus operandi: 50 mates in one move followed by 50 mates in two moves and 20 mates in three moves.
Section IV has two chapters: "Some Dos and Don'ts [sic] of Chess Strategy" and "Two Instructive Games" (Polgar wins against Bent Larsen and Simen Agdestein).
Finally, there are a pair of appendices. The first, "Tips, Etiquette, and Helpful Advice for Tournament Players" is very good, especially for kids, who are clearly the intended audience. (It would seem that these tips were written many years ago, however, as the penultimate bit of advice is amusingly archaic: "Please do not listen to a Walkman while you are playing. This distracts both you and your opponent." I guess I shouldn't bring my 8-track tape player either, consarn it!) The second appendix is excellent too, "Advice for Parents and Coaches".
All in all, a good, solid beginner's book.