Reading With Lego

IMG_1389
All Images: Sarah Pinault

The Lego Movie comes out today, and because of that everything is awesome. More bricks will be played with today than on an average day, more refrains of “Everything Is Awesome” will be sung than “Let it Go,” and, as a result, Tylenol shares will skyrocket. We won’t be watching the movie in our house today, but we will be joining Emmet and WildStyle in another way, by reading about them.

One of the things I love about Lego is its inclusivity. You can follow the directions, you can build your own design, you can make an underwater base, or build a skyscraper. Since we eat, breathe, and sleep Lego in our house at the moment, reading about them is a natural progression for us. My son loves reading and being read to, but even if he didn’t, his love of Lego would be an attraction for these books. If your child is a natural reader, this might be a way to introduce them to Lego. And vice versa, if they are naturally very tactile, this is a good introductory read.

IMG_1391With my son starting Kindergarten this year, my favorite reads with him are the two beginning to read books from Dorling Kindersley. The DK readers’ multilevel reading program is something we’ve been dipping in and out of as our son has shown more interest in learning about the words he’s looking at. Reading these two books concurrently has been a great way for me to understand more realistically what the difference is between level one and two.

The Level One book, Calling all Master Builders, tells the story of The Lego Movie using simple sentences, high frequency words, and full page pictures. It does not assume you have seen the movie and doesn’t give away too many plot points. At the same time, not having seen the movie could hinder enjoyment at this level. The book opens with Vitruvius rather than with Bricksburg or Emmett, and doesn’t set the scene particularly well until several pages in. The page depicting Vitruvius shows him as already blind, and calls him “the blind wizard” there is no backstory. The book restricts itself to descriptions of the movie and the pictures in the book.

The Level Two book, Awesome Adventures, also tells the story of The Lego Movie, but is a vastly different reading experience. The sentences are still simple, but the vocabulary is limited without being as repetitive. Descriptions of the movie, and of the pictures, are interspersed with sections of narrative that actually tell the story instead of describing it. You can really see the difference between the two levels by comparing pages concerning the same narrative (see picture of Unikitty). In the Level Two book we are given a description of Cloud Cuckoo land in which Unikitty is one aspect. It is far more detailed than in Level One. There is also a pop-out section on Unikitty’s alter ego, Angry Kitty, as opposed to one sentence and one picture. Level One focuses on Unikitty, and simply mentions where she lives. In the Level Two book, beings to take on more of the feel of the more traditional Dorling Kindersley Eyewitness books.

Level Two is absolutely full of spoilers, including the twist ending. If spoilers bother you, this book will bother you. For kids familiar with the movie this won’t be a problem.

IMG_1216To go along with these two story adventures is The Lego Movie: The Essential Guide. For all intents and purposes this is a DK Eyewitness book. Each double page spread covers a different aspect of the movie in detail, be it location, character, or plot device. In a step up from the level readers, Cloud Cuckoo land has two pages and Unikitty has two pages. This is much more detailed, but definitely not for an early reader. This has been my husband’s favorite of the new Lego books, both for himself, and to read with our son. There is a behind the scenes section that talks about the making of the movie, but it is just the two final pages. For 98% of the book, content matter is treated as fact would be in an Eyewitness book.

While I revel in learning to read, and my husband enjoys the facts and trivia, my son’s favorite of the new Lego books is easily the DK Ultimate Sticker collection. He doesn’t use the stickers to fill in the blank spaces on each page. He prefers to hand the stickers out as awards/rewards to family members. Quite appropriately for Father’s Day this weekend, his dad was gifted with what he considered to be the best sticker in the book, MetalBeard. There are more than 1,000 stickers in the book, but it seems like a lot more. In addition to the stickers for the character pages, there are extra stickers from the movie and several pages of “thumbnail” stickers, just because.

If getting the movie today didn’t meet your quota of awesome for the week, fear not! GeekMom and Dorling Kindersley have two sets of these books to giveaway to Lego fans. To enter our giveaway just log in to the Rafflecopter widget below with your Facebook account or email address (use a valid email so we can let you know if you win). You can then like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for up to two entries! If you already like/follow us it will still enter you in the giveaway. A winner will be chosen at random at the end of the contest and their name will be posted right in the Rafflecopter widget so you can check back to see who won.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

GeekMom received this item for review purposes.

Get the GeekDad Books!