Welcome to a new series of posts called “Word Wednesdays.” If you read my “Tales from the Paper Mountain” reviews, you’ll know I have a problem with too many books. I’ve been searching for a way to share more books with GeekDad readers, and so, Word Wednesdays are born. The aim is to post a short video each week showcasing a book I particularly like or that is relevant to the world that week. The books will probably be those that are more interesting visually than just a standard novel, but as the series develops, who knows where we’ll go?
I’ve been sent a box of books from DK – publishers of amazing and visually stunning reference books – many of which we’ve reviewed in the past. This week I’m looking at the range from the new LEGO Ninjago Movie. For our “10 Things Parents Should Know About the LEGO Ninjago Movie,” click here.
Learn to Read With LEGO Ninjago
The first two books are two slim volumes aimed at helping children learn to read. I have a reluctant reader eight-year-old and LEGO Ninjago is a subject he will happily read about. These two books are a little too easy for him now, but they make an excellent starting point for children moving off from reading schemes and on to chapter books. We had great success with this range of Ninjago books, and these DK books should work just as well.
Start with the Level 1: Shark Attack book, before moving on to Level 2: Secret Ninja Force. DK does other Level 1 and Level 2 books and they are great for easing that transition from learner to confident reader. My son enjoyed Secret Ninja Force, in particular, as it details the lives and times of modern LEGO Ninjas!
The LEGO Ninjago Movie: The Essential Guide
This is a mini-encyclopedia of the new film. As such, it does contain spoilers and is perhaps best left to read until after you have seen the movie. That said, 8-year-olds don’t seem to mind being familiar with the plot before entering movie theaters. Indeed, my children seem to thrive on it.
This book is high on pictures, with words in boxes and bubbles around the page. It’s full of information about all the ninjas, Master Wu, and Lord Garmadon. There’s also a look at each of the mechs in the film.
The LEGO Ninjago Movie: The Essential Guide is exactly what it says, and indispensable guide to the film for children 8 and up.
The LEGO Ninjago Movie: Ultimate Sticker Collection
If you’ve followed DK’s children’s books for any length of time, you’ll know how much they love a sticker book. And like all things DK, when they make a sticker book, they make it properly. There’s “Over 1000 stickers” inside the book and 32 pages to stick them on. The stickers, found towards the back of the book, are arranged in two sections. Those that have a place in the book and those that can be stuck freeform, anywhere (history tells me this could be almost literally anywhere, so watch out for that).
The pages designed to have the stickers stuck onto them are largely themed around the Ninjago ninjas, with a double spread page for each. There are also pages for Wu, Garmadon, the citizens of Ninjago, and Garmadon’s Shark Army. If your kids love Ninjago or stickers, they’ll love this book. If they love both, picking up The LEGO Ninjago Movie: Ultimate Sicker Collection is a no-brainer.
The LEGO Ninjago Movie: The Making of the Movie
This book is amazing and perfect for older lovers of the film or anybody with an interest in either LEGO or animation. The work and detail that goes into a film like Lego Ninjago is staggering. I feel slightly embarrassed for imagining it as “just some computer animation.” The book explains how the layers of detail are built up into every shot and the work put into every frame to make the film a cohesive whole.
I was a little bit blown away by the beauty of this book. It gave me a whole new appreciation for the art of the modern animator. It does, inevitably, contain some spoilers, but I was glad I’d read parts of the book before going to see the movie. I watched from a whole different perspective, marveling at its depth and attention to detail.
All in all, these are a great set of books, with The Making of the LEGO Ninjago Movie book being the pick of the bunch, if you’re a grown-up. If you’re under 10, then the “Ultimate Guide” is probably the one for you!
UK readers looking for DK LEGO Ninjago books can find them, here.
So that’s my first Word Wednesday post. Next week, I’ll be back with more DK books and some good old-fashioned comic book action.
Disclaimer: I was sent these books in order to write this review.