Book Review – LEGO: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know
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As with many reference books, another problem with this one is that it was already out of date by the time it hit store shelves.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,