I have to admit that I have a hard time reading nowadays. I am a teacher, and a lot of my working day is spent reading and trying to decipher what students have written. So, when I get home, I want something that doesn’t require me to think about what someone else is trying to tell me. DK’s LEGO books fit that bill nicely. They are a sort of mindless read that is just full of fun little facts about something that I am really into. One of DK’s latest releases, LEGO: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know, does not disappoint in that respect.
One of the blaring differences between this volume and previous DK LEGO books that I have purchased is the lack of an exclusive Minifigure. I really like those, so I was a little disappointed not to get one initially. However, one of my complaints about previous books is that you don’t get a whole lot of book with most of DK’s publications. Half of the volume of the book is normally cardboard casing for the Minifigure, or for bricks in the case of the build your own adventure books. This one is an actual book of 240 pages. I still would have liked to get a Minifigure, but I am also happy that there wasn’t so much wasted packaging for a change. I maintain that DK needs to come up with a way to get those Minifigures in without filling half the book with cardboard.
As with many reference books, another problem with this one is that it was already out of date by the time it hit store shelves. There was some effort to make it current, as there are many references to things that happened in 2017. There are even some things in the book that had not been released when it actually began selling. For example, the book was released on September 5, but it already talks about the Ninjago Movie in the past tense. The Ninjago Movie did not come out until September 22. However, there are other sections where the same effort to be current was not applied. An example of this is the five biggest LEGO sets. If DK was able to include the Ninjago Movie before its released, they should have been able to include Ninjago City (released August 16 to VIPs) and the new Millennium Falcon (released September 14 to VIPs) in the list of biggest LEGO sets. There would have been no spoilers there as everyone has known about the sets for months already.
As a science teacher, there was something else that really bothered me about this book. They included a section on LEGO animals, which is great. But, they made a botched attempt at binomial nomenclature in the process, which is not so great. Kids are reading this book, so if there is going to be an attempt to be “scientific”, it should be done properly. They gave animals a genus and species name. The genera are different (for the most part), but the species names are all the same. They also have very different animals, which should each constitute a different species, being classified as the same species. In what world are a goat, a pig, and a chicken the same species? There are also two clearly different snakes with the same genus and species names, and the text describes the brown and polar bears as also being the same. I know this is nit-picky, but again, I am of the mind that if you are going to do it, you have to do it right.
Otherwise, the book is a lot of fun. I learned a few things that I did not know before. I mentioned in my review of I Love That Minifigure (click here to read it) that I really like to learn about the hidden stories behind LEGO sets and Minifigures. In that book, I found out that the skateboarder from Minifigures series 1 was actually turned into the zombie that comes exclusive with the book. Something I found out in LEGO: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know, is that the Lumberjack from Minifigures series 5 was actually bitten under a full moon, and became the werewolf you see in series 14 (which inspired my Minifigure Monday post this week, click here to read it). There are loads of other facts about sets, Minifigures, pieces, and LEGO history that really make this book an interesting read. I would like to know the criteria that were used for all the top five lists in the book though. For example, were the top five Mighty Micros based on sales? While we are on the topic of Mighty Micros and super heroes, Marvel was conspicuously absent from the whole book.
Is LEGO: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know actually everything you need to know? No, I don’t think so. I would still not call this the definitive book on LEGO. But, is it a lot of fun, and a worthwhile purchase? For a LEGO fan, I would say it certainly is. As always, I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
Until next time,
5 thoughts on “Book Review – LEGO: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know”
I agree 100% about the science details! I did not buy this book for that info obviously but like you said kids read these so if you are trying to inform or educate you have to have your info double checked. I also noticed the lack of Marvel I imagine there is some sort of liscencing involved, maybe Disney has the rights to book form? I don’t see any Marvel books like the Batman and DC books they have released in a quick search. Glad I discovered your site, as a fellow Canadian it’s great to have stats in our currency. I don’t comment on much I read online but I felt you deserve the support. I am in 4 Canadian Lego groups on face book and will put a link to your site on them. Keep up the good work I really appreciate the Lego deals of the week, I know that will save me some money!!
Thanks a lot for swinging by, and for your support! It is great to hear that my little corner of the web is helpful and interesting for others, especially Canadians! I would not doubt for a minute that there are all sorts of licensing issues around Disney owned content, and even more for putting DC and Marvel in the same books/video games/movies. Great to hear from you!
I’m not sure what you mean about the binomial names, as I’ve yet to acquire this book. As a science teacher I’m sure you’re aware that the proper scientific binomial species name includes both a genus and a species component, and that different genera can use the same species name (that is, there can be both a hypothetical Cervus horridus and a hypothetical Felis horridus), but that’s what it sounded like you were complaining about. I’m sure I must have misunderstood. What was the issue?
This was a nice review of what looks like a fun kind of coffee-table LEGO book. I’m a little disappointed at the absence of Marvel; I was an Avengers reader in my misspent teenagerhood. And you’re right that it would have been good to know what criteria were used in compiling the top 5s.
Ah well. Even in a book purporting to be definitive you can seldom have everything.
Hi there! My complaint was not about the same species name being used in different genera, it was more that I found that unoriginal… I suppose I should have elaborated more on that. However, the bigger issue was that polar bears and brown bears were in the same genus and species. Chickens, goats, and pigs were also all in the same genus and species. Thanks for commenting!
Yeah, that is weird. I guess we just say that the binomial name of all LEGO animals is Plasticus legoensis! 😉
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