Book Review: A Book Apart’s HTML5 for Web Designers by Jeremy Keith

I just finished A Book Apart’s first book titled HTML5 for Web Designers. The book, written by well-known developer Jeremy Keith, and provides an overview of HTML5. I was pretty hyped up to receive this book and pre-ordered it based on my experience with Jeremy’s previous book.

My Thoughts

If you’re totally new to HTML5, this book will give you a good overview of the new spec. It’s not a highly technical book and is meant to provide the reader with an understanding of the evolution of the spec as well as some of the most important features of HTML5 including Canvas, video and updated form capabilities. The book is very short (only 85 pages) and extremely easy to read, which allowed me to finish it off in about 2-3 days of non-contiguous reading. I also liked Jeremy’s use of humor throughout the book.

With that said, this book is definitely not a deep-dive into HTML5 and if you’re expecting to pick it up and actually learn how to use the new features, I think you’ll be disappointed. While there are some technical nuggets (especially around Canvas), the book is really just an overview with very little technical meat to it. And I believe that’s the way that A Book Apart is trying to promote their books; quick, easy-to-read materials that get you good information fast.

What I would recommend is that if you’re looking to get a 10,000 foot view of HTML5, pick up this book. It’s definitely worthwhile from that perspective. If you’re looking to better understand the implementation of specific features, then this is not the right choice. And I offer this recommendation whether you’re a developer or designer. Better resources for a deeper, technical understanding of HTML5 include:

Dive Into HTML5
HTML5 Demos
HTML5 Doctor

All of these are listed in the Resources section of the book and having read them previously truly are excellent sites for deep-diving into HTML5.

Rey Bango


  1. Thanks for the review Rey, I’ve been on the fence about ordering this book, and now I think I will skip it. I am looking for something more technical. I’ll be checking out those other resources you posted though!

    • Sure thing Michael. I just got a review copy of Remy Sharp & Bruce Lawson’s Introducing HTML5 but it’s a much larger book. I’ll post of review of that one once I’m done.

  2. I agree with your assessment of the book. I have read it as well. I think that it is a great overview. this book is very useful to get you from 0-50 in no time flat. But you will need to dig deeper to get a comprehensive understanding. Read it, but don’t stop there. I am reading Introducing HTML 3 right now and it is a lot meatier.

  3. I looked at this book but it was too general. I actually just watched the new HTML5 Now video on Creative Edge. Its the best hour I have spent on this. Its a 3 hour video, pretty basic, but I say 1 hour because I was able to skip over the remedial stuff and get to the parts that were meatier. I recommend it especially the section on new UI elements.

Comments are closed.