Here’s another “Head First” book in the ongoing series from O’Reilly. This one is “Head First HTML and CSS,” by Robson and Freeman, $40 at

This is a great series, one of the best we’ve ever seen. HTML is the language of the web, and Joy started building a web site from scratch in the first evening. The lessons have plenty of illustrations and use crossword puzzles, games, retro photos, cartoons, and quizzes to nail down the basic concepts. (HTML, by the way, stands for HyperText Markup Language.)

Even if you plan to learn a web-editing program like Dreamweaver, from Adobe, it’s helpful to know the code that underlies everything. Joy uses Microsoft Web Expression to edit a statewide website for the PEO national women’s organization, but it sometimes bogs down and it helps enormously to look at the underlying code.

Headfirst HTML and CSS is now in its second edition. The new version brings in the latest HTML 5. Pictures and code can be downloaded from to go along with the book’s exercises.

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