Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Parents' Choice Awards : Books : Doing & Learning
The LEGO Ideas Book

The LEGO Ideas Book

Fall 2012 Doing & Learning
Ages: 5 & Up
Author: DK Publishing
Publisher: DK Publishing
ISBN: 9780756686062
Hardcover Price: $24.99

For children ready to leave behind the building instructions that come with most LEGO sets these days, the LEGO Ideas Book will provide plenty of inspiration. There are six chapters in the book: Planes, Trains, & Automobiles; Town & Country; Out of this World; In Days of Old; A World of Adventure; and Make & Keep. Children will learn to build helicopters, homes, trees, robots, castles, pirate islands, mosaics, board games, and more.

The book does not provide step-by-step instructions, nor does it shy away from using hard to find LEGO pieces. As noted in the introduction, the book doesn't "show building steps or brick lists because it's unlikely you will have all the bricks for each model." That's OK, though, because the images here serve to inspire rather than provide specific instructions. Each building project is depicted in bright, detailed images. The book gives a suggested starting point for each project shown, demonstrates similar projects, and highlights the details that make each LEGO model shown special. Throughout the book, children are encouraged to examine each LEGO brick in new and unexpected ways. A robot claw, for example, might become the perfect ornamentation for the top of a tiny steeple-topped building.

There are lessons sprinkled throughout the book, and children will learn about science and history as they build. One page explains real-world robots, including car factory assembly systems, and another explores the architectural features of castles. Parents and children who prefer the open-ended building possibilities of a giant box of LEGOs to a themed kit will appreciate this book.

Parents' Choice   ©2012 Parents' Choice

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