Last year, we talked about two series of LEGO books with alternate instructions, using basic LEGO elements from the LEGO Classic brick boxes (see: Instruction Books with Simple LEGO Bricks). Since then, two more titles were released in the Brick Book series, which I thought to show you today. The books are an excellent way to keep children engaged with their current LEGO collection, instead of keep buying more and more new sets. And they also introduce children to interesting building techniques with basic LEGO pieces, as well as ideas for free-building. 🙂
The first two titles in the Brick Book series, Brick Animals and Brick Cars and Trucks were the work of British LEGO fan Warren Elsmore, who was already known for his excellent LEGO instruction books for adult LEGO fans (see: Brick City, Brick Wonders, Brick Flicks, Brick History and Brick Vehicles). We talked about all of these books already, and you can find links to the reviews at the end of this post. The two new books, Brick Buildings and Brick Beasts, introduces three new authors to the series; Kevin Hall, Brenda Tsang, and Barry James. All three are professional LEGO artists from Brick Galleria, an LEGO model building design and events company from the UK. Kevin shares the following in the introduction of the book:
“A lot of the time when I’m at an event displaying LEGO brick models, I’m asked if my models and sculptures are created using special parts, or if I get unique parts made especially for a particular model. The answer is that the parts I use are the exact same parts that you get in the LEGO sets you purchase in the stores. These book are to show just that…”
Brick Buildings: 40 Clever and Creative Ideas to Make from Classic LEGO includes 40 models, including a log cabin, an island fortress, a cloud house, a gatehouse, an underwater house, a hollow trunk, a clifftop villa, a flying house, a royal palace, a houseboat, a fairy house, a gingerbread house, a micro castle, a lake house, a mobile home, a tall tower, a magical mill, an observatory, an igloo, a shoe house, a stilt house, a rickety shack, a round house, a treasure keep, a wacky wagon, a troll cave, a lighthouse, a giant egg house, a dragon’s lair, a mountain fortress, a tropical hideaway, a glass house, a mushroom house, a giant shell, a pumpkin house, a volcano shack, a windmill, a tree house, an underground home, and an ice castle. As you can see, we are not just talking about some boring cookie cutter houses, but some very clever and even unconventional dwellings! While the projects are simple with fewer than 100 bricks, which makes them suitable for younger children, I think older kids and adults would enjoy building the models as well.
Here is the official description of the book: Anyone with a drawer full of LEGO bricks will be able to build and customize models with help from these inspiring guides. Based on the brick selection found in some of LEGO’s Classic series, each project is a great way to test out unusual building techniques or to mix up pieces from existing kits that have already been broken up. Follow the instructions or go off in your own direction—it’s your choice! Many of the designs in these books use fewer than 100 bricks, so you don’t need a lot of bricks to get started. In Brick Buildings, you’ll find dozens of inspiring designs that will help you create a dragon’s lair, pumpkin palace, glass house, floating home, snow cave, and more. Discover loads of fun projects showcasing advanced techniques that are perfect for every LEGO enthusiast. 96 pages. Price: $13.99 – BUY ON AMAZON
Brick Beasts: 40 Clever and Creative Ideas to Make from Classic LEGO uses the same format as the previous three books, but the models are based on mythological and fantasy beasts. The brick-built characters included are as follows: Sphinx, Minotaur, Zombie, Jackalope, Ninki Nanka, Ahuizotl, Imp, Gorgon, Cockatrice, Kraken, Unicorn, Satyr, Sea-goat, Goblin, Phoenix, Cyclops, Troll, Dragon, Yowie, Vampire, Kitsune, Basilisk, Elf, Drop Bear, Cerberus, Griffin, Sasquatch, Ogre, Al-mi’raj, Shi (guardian lion), Dwarf, Hodag, Yeti, Treefolk, Werewolf, Centaur, Manticore, Pegasus, and Lock Ness Monster. As you can see, there are mythical creatures from every part of the planet! And in case you are not familiar with some of them, there is a little introduction for each, so you get properly introduced. This book is probably my favorite in the series, because it’s so much fun to learn about the characters and build the simultaneously dreadful and adorable models.
Here is the official description of the book: Anyone with a drawer full of LEGO bricks will be able to build and customize models with help from these inspiring guides. Based on the brick selection found in some of LEGO’s Classic series, each project is a great way to test out unusual building techniques or to mix up pieces from existing kits that have already been broken up. Follow the instructions or go off in your own direction—it’s your choice! Many of the designs in these books use fewer than 100 bricks, so you don’t need a lot of bricks to get started. In Brick Beasts, you will free your inner creative genius with brick builds that include a centaur, unicorn, griffin, ogre, dragon, and more. Discover loads of fun projects showcasing advanced techniques that are perfect for every LEGO enthusiast. 96 pages. Price: $13.99 – BUY ON AMAZON
Just like the previous two books in the series, Brick Animals, and Brick Cars and Trucks, Brick Buildings and Brick Beasts are published by Barron’s Books on high quality, glossy paper, with nice and bright images. Each project includes a picture of the model, a little introduction, a parts list, and step-by-step instructions. The building steps include larger pictures than in the previous two books, which was my only criticism of the earlier titles.
I’m always asked where parents can find extra building instructions to keep their kids busy and engaged. The LEGO Ideas book series and the LEGO Adventure Book series are excellent for older kids and teens (we have reviewed both series previously – see links at the end of this post), and the Brick Book series is simple enough for younger children, but still very creative and interesting. And it is a huge plus that the models use basic LEGO elements – mostly from the LEGO Classic Brick Boxes, so you don’t have to search for a bunch of specialty parts.
I’m very pleased to see that the Brick Book series is continuing, as the books facilitate creative building, learning interesting building techniques, and lots of fun family activities. They also make great gifts for LEGO fans of all ages for a very reasonable price. Here are the links to all four books in the series, if you would like to check them out:
What do you think? Do you have any of the books from the Brick Book series? Did you or your kids built any of your models already? How do you like them? Are there any other LEGO books you really like? Feel free to share your thoughts and own review in the comment section below! 😉
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