The best book on photographic composition I can not recommend enough does not have a single photograph in it. It looks, quite deceptively, as a kindergarten-level children book: Picture This: How Pictures Work
Slobodan, Picture This
arrived yesterday afternoon and today I took time to read it thoroughly from cover to cover. Took about 45 minutes. You're right, it's a very
good book about some of composition's most basic rules. On the other hand, I'm not sure how useful it is for a photographer. If you're painting, you can build up your picture on the basis of Molly's insights, but if you're a photographer you rarely can control things that well. I'm glad she didn't dwell more on the effects of color since in a photograph you have almost no control over color, and the rules of colors often will overcome your efforts. HCB undestood that, though he did some color work in later life that rarely surfaces.
It was a very valid recommendation and I'm glad I bought the book, but I'd hate to try to teach photographic composition to my mother on the basis of that book.