If you just caught a quick glimpse of the title The Book of GIMP by Olivier Lecarme and Karine Delvare, you could be forgiven for thinking that maybe the name is a misspelled reference to some kind of Forrest Gump spin-off. In reality, The Book of GIMP is a very thorough tutorial on, as the subtitle indicates, everything that has to do with the GNU Image Manipulation Program, a freely distributed piece of software that’s giving Adobe Photoshop a run for its money.

If all you’re interested in doing is cleaning up your personal photos a little or doing fun stuff like putting the head of a jackass on a picture of your ex, you won’t need to refer to this book to utilize GIMP. But if you’re a graphics arts student, a professional photographer or any kind of designer who works in image composition or image authoring, then you’ll find this guide to GIMP indispensable.

At more than 600-pages, there’s plenty of type dedicated to step-by-step instruction on how to create digital art layer-by-layer, augmented with lots of illusory photos and graphics. GIMP is notoriously a little bit difficult to work with, but The Book of GIMP explains how to make the most out of every feature. Learn here how to use the Selective Gaussian Blur, the Antialias filter and hundreds of other things you’ve probably not heard of yet. If you’d like to join the growing ranks of refugees from Photoshop, this guide will have you well on your way.

Grade: A