Re: A good illustrated reference?
I also love Ratti's artistic illustrations in ADS, but I'm not that fond of the text. I think Ratti's art work is the main reason the book is still sold and used.
The numbering of the attack forms was standard when I started with aikido in the early 1970's. I guess that several Japanese teachers found it more simple to teach us numbers than the Japanese terminology. For the aikido techniques, though, we used the Japanese names, and no numbers.
As for Aikido books for dummies, so to speak, I guess there is none that makes it possible to actually learn a technique through photos, but several that work fine as reminders for the practicing aikido student.
I think of Kisshomaru Doshu's book Aikido from the 1960's, republished and edited in a number of ways, also by the present Doshu. I also think of Saito sensei's series of books from the 1970's. I believe they were five in all, including a lot of techniques with the bokken and jo as well.
There are many others.