People often ask where to find ideas and instructions for LEGO models other than the ones provided with LEGO sets. Of course you can find a lot of inspiration online, but the models you find may be too complex to copy – especially for younger children. There are two series of books however that I found particularly excellent with lots of great LEGO models and many step-by-step instructions. 🙂
It is interesting that these two series of books are from two different publishers, but with a very similar style. They also have the exact same size and format, and each series now has three published books. The LEGO Adventure Book series by Megan H. Rothrock and published by No Starch Press recently had it’s third volume released, and the LEGO Ideas Book series by Daniel Lipkowitz and published by DK Publishing also had a third book released this year. The builders featured in the book overlap as well, so you could pretty much consider these two series as one collection. Thus I thought it was a good idea to review the latest books from both series together.
➡ LEGO AWESOME IDEAS: This is the third volume in a series of books published by DK Publishing. The first book was THE LEGO IDEAS BOOK, the second the LEGO PLAY BOOK: IDEAS TO BRING YOUR BRICKS TO LIFE, and the third is the LEGO AWESOME IDEAS book. Below is the official description of the third book in the series:
LEGO Awesome Ideas is an all-new ideas book that unlocks the secrets of LEGO building and shows fans how to create a world with their imagination. Beautifully clear photography and informative text demonstrates how entire models are built up while also providing step-by-step visual breakdowns and offering alternative ways to build models. Explore each chapter as it steadily creates a themed world and ultimately showcases a dynamic diorama of the complete build, showing readers that they too can build up an entire LEGO world from scratch — model by model, brick by brick. With creative model ideas and visual tips and techniques, LEGO Awesome Ideas will inspire anyone, from beginners to accomplished builders.
This book is full of inspiring models to help you discover ideas and techniques for your own creations. The book is about 200 pages, and is broken down by themes; Outer Space, Modern Metropolis, The Wild West, Fantasy Land and The Real World. Each section has a bit of narrative to set the mood for the theme, then various models that you can build for that theme. There are also additional building tips and ideas for your own models. At the end of each section there is a whole diorama putting together all the models featured in that section. The pictures are large enough that you can build many of the models just by looking at them, and there are step-by-step instructions for some of the more complex ones.
There is a good variety of small and large models in each section, so even if you have a smaller LEGO collection you should be able to find something to build. I particularly enjoy the small models; things like furniture, small vehicles, trees, etc. – they are excellent for learning new building techniques and using pieces in clever ways. As far as the complexity of the models, there is a great variety as well. Some of them are simple and easy to put together, while others are a bit more challenging. Based on the models and the level of difficulty I would say that the book is suitable for children age 7 or 8 and up. As an adult I also enjoy the book and have built many of the models or used them for inspiration.
The models built in this book are by well-known and well-respected adult LEGO builders: Yvonne Doyle, Alice Finch, Rod Gillies, Tim Goddard, Tim Johnson, Barney Main, Drew Maughan and Peter Reid. As far as the three books in the series, I don’t think you would be disappointed with any of them. You can just get one of the books, or all three, and you will have plenty of ideas to work with. You can find all three books on Amazon with excellent discounted prices:
➡ THE LEGO ADVENTURE BOOK – VOLUME 3: This book also comes in a series, and the previous volumes are titled THE LEGO ADVENTURE BOOK – VOLUME 1: CARS, CASTLES, DINOSAURS & MORE! and THE LEGO ADVENTURE BOOK – VOLUME 2: SPACESHIPS, PIRATES, DRAGONS & MORE! This third volume’s full title is THE LEGO ADVENTURE BOOK – VOLUME 3: ROBOTS, PLANES, CITIES & MORE! Below is the official description of the third book in the series:
In this volume of the LEGO Adventure Book series, Megs and Brickbot face their toughest challenge yet. The Destructor is on the loose again, demolishing LEGO models and shaking things up! Join Megs as she rebuilds the models and meets some of the world’s best builders. Learn to create a Renaissance house, a classic movie theater, sushi, Miniland-scale marvels, an ice cream truck, street lamps, and even a chicken coop. With 40 step-by-step breakdowns and nearly 150 example models, The LEGO Adventure Book will surely inspire you and keep you building!
This series of books follows Meg on her adventures, and there is some continuation through the three volumes as far as the narrative goes. But the story is really just a background for showcasing some excellent LEGO models, so you could really start with any of the books.
The format here is similar as in the other series; 200-page hardcover book, covering various LEGO themes, with models for inspiration, and others with step-by-step instructions. Based on the models and the level of difficulty I would say that this book is for a bit older kids; like age 9 or 10 and up. Teens who are still building with LEGO should also find it enjoyable, as well as adult LEGO builders.
Here also, the models of many well-known and well-respected LEGO fans are featured: Megan H. Rothrock, Patrick Bosman, Peter Reid, Birgitte Jonsgard, Craig Mandeville, Jason Railton, Stephan Sander, Alex Bidolak and Matija Puzar. While in the other series of books it is not always clear who built each model, in this series, each chapter features models from a particular LEGO fan, so there is usually a consistent theme and building style.
As far as the three books in the series – here, again – you can get all three, or just one of them, and you will find great models to build. I don’t think you would be disappointed with any of them. You can find all three books on Amazon with excellent discounted prices:
- THE LEGO ADVENTURE BOOK – VOLUME 1 ON AMAZON
- THE LEGO ADVENTURE BOOK – VOLUME 2 ON AMAZON
- THE LEGO ADVENTURE BOOK – VOLUME 3 ON AMAZON
Personally I collect both series of books and I find them to be highly enjoyable. Some evenings I just sit down with one of the books and flip through the pages. When I find a model I really like I start building. Sometimes I build the whole model, and other times I just use it as a springboard for my own ideas. I also use some of the smaller models to add to my own creations: things like pieces of furniture, vegetation and various decorations. I like the LEGO IDEAS series as the models are simple yet effective, while THE LEGO ADVENTURE BOOK series covers some more advanced and intricate building techniques.
What about you? Do you have any of THE LEGO ADVENTURE or LEGO IDEAS books? Do you have a favorite book in the series? Feel free to share your own review and thoughts in the comment section below! 😉
And you might also like to check out the following related posts:
- The Ultimate Guide to Collectible LEGO Sets
- Nature with Bricks: Beautiful LEGO Wild!
- Build Your Own Adventure – New LEGO Books
- New LEGO Ninjago & LEGO Friends Books
- The Art of the Brick by Nathan Sawaya
- LEGO Brick City, Brick Wonders, Brick Flicks
- The LEGO Neighborhood Book – Review
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- LEGO Book – LEGO Space: Building the Future
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