We’re getting a bit meta this week, as…
This week’s word is “Word”
LEGO and DK join forces once again. This time for a bit of object labeling and teaching to read, with LEGO City: Busy Word Book.
What is the LEGO City Busy Word Book?
The book is 60+ pages of LEGO city scenes, each one labeled with what’s going on. It is broken down into four chapters.
- “In the City.” – scenes from LEGO City life, such as playing in the park or the “new neighborhood.”
- “Emergency!” LEGO City’s emergency services are brought to life in this chapter. Police, Fire, Ambulance, even the Coastguard. It’s all here. (This is my 5-year-old’s favorite chapter.)
- “On the Move.” LEGO City’s planes, trains, and automobiles. (John Candy not included.)
- “Beyond the City.” AKA “Cool sets that aren’t really in the city but we wanted to include.” Here you’ll find urban treasures such as a rocket launch pad and an arctic base.
As well as lots of new words to discover, each page has three things to find. Little pieces of LEGO that are somewhere in the picture. Some are hidden in plain sight, others less so. Added to that is a pizza thief, who can be found hiding somewhere on each double-page, as he tries to escape the yellow arm of the LEGO City law.
The more cynical amongst us might feel this one long advert for LEGO, that DK has managed to persuade us to pay good money for. And in part, they’d be right. But it’s all done so well. It’s definitely true that buying this book will result in some pester power. You can fully expect to see a LEGO Coastguard boat arriving at our house, shortly after my will to refuse has been broken. … Some… time… around… now!
That said, the book comes into its own with the pages that detail sets you already own. It ramps up the engagement levels because you can discuss the pieces that are labeled and how they fit into your child’s games. Also, where and when that piece was last seen (probably under the sofa), and which bit hurts the most when you tread on it.
If the book does have a flaw, it’s one common to many of these types of book. Because of the binding, it can be difficult to see some of the objects that are close to the spine of the book. This is not a major issue, but a couple of the “can you find?” objects are difficult to spot because of their position close to the binding.
My five-year-old has very much engaged with this book. It’s been a constant bedtime companion for him. In addition to helping improve his vocabulary and his reading skills, it has also fired his imaginative play. In a neat little, unlooked-for feedback loop, he has taken the scenes and themes in the book and incorporated them into his LEGO designs. This makes the LEGO City Busy Word Book pretty much a complete package.
If you’d like to read my other Word Wednesday posts, click here.