I am a licensed school music educator. I have used this method book for over 9 years in my fifth grade guitar classes. I also use the Ukulele Method for Kids. It is my favorite method book and this is why: 1. It is paced well and covers all the basics in a systematic way that young kids understand. 2. The photos are large because that is developmentally appropriate for kids. One of the bad reviews criticized the photos, and they are enormously helpful to the students. 3. I LIKE focusing on the chords first because most amateur guitar players intend to use chord strumming, not plucking melodies. I personally, find the chords easy to learn as a beginner. 4. The SONG CHOICES are awesome! My students learned about the Beatles and some other performers with these more "current" song choices as opposed to folk songs they have never heard before. The only thing I add as a teacher is the transition from easy "one finger" chords to the full chord fingerings.
I highly recommend this course, especially with a teacher to facilitate the learning. I give this my endorsement after having used it for 9 years in a school classroom. Hal Leonard got this one right.