A couple of years ago, I was in touch with our longtime teen contributor Geneva – gid617, and she told me she is working on a book with her mom. The book is a compilation of five short stories written for children titled God’s Covenants Retold in LEGO Bricks. The focus of the book is discussing the meaning of God’s covenants by giving various examples from the Bible. The illustrations for these stories are done with LEGO bricks and minifigures – which is the part Geneva was responsible for.
Since our original discussion, Geneva sent me regular updates about the progress of the book, until it was finally ready for publication! I originally meant to share the book with our readers before Christmas, but with my schedule at that time, I was not able to fit it in writing up a review. However, since we just celebrated Easter, I thought this was the next best time to discuss a book that mixes spiritual lessons, history, and LEGO bricks.
First of all, here is the official description of the book: God’s covenants, the backdrop for all of history, are essential for a true understanding of His purposes. But how often is this explained clearly to the younger generation? “God’s Covenants” is specifically designed for young children of Christian parents who need to be taught the great and timeless truths about God’s dealings with mankind. Children will appreciate the simple explanations, thought-provoking questions, and creative full-color illustrations built with LEGO bricks. Parents will appreciate this golden opportunity to read a clear explanation of the Gospel to children wanting to hear it again and again. (Note to parents: no illustrations violate the second commandment.)
The book is a fully illustrated paperback with a total of 44 pages. This is a large print with standard size, 8.5 x 11 inch pages. The text is also large and simple, so children can read it easily. Each page is vibrantly colorful including the text and images of LEGO creations that are relevant to the stories. This allows younger children who are not yet able to read to enjoy the book as well. There are also questions in each chapter to encourage discussion. I don’t see an age recommendation on the book or at the Amazon page, but I would imagine children around 4-5 years old would appreciate it.
The first chapter is titled God’s Covenant to Preserve His Creation. It begins with a succinct definition of the word covenant, followed by an explanation of creation, the fall, the flood, and God’s covenant with Noah. The second chapter is titled God’s Covenant to Prosper His Kingdom. It presents a clear description of the Abrahamic Covenant, stressing the need for faith, and also touching the relationship between circumcision and baptism. The third chapter is titled God’s Covenant to Prepare the Way. It explains the Sinaitic Covenant, recognizing the importance of the law, but also explaining God’s provision for the people of Israel when they sinned, pointing to Jesus Christ. The fourth chapter is titled God’s Covenant to Provide the King. It describes God’s covenant with David and His promise that his sons, anointed as kings, would reign over Israel – a promise that found its ultimate fulfillment in Jesus Christ, the Anointed One.The fifth chapter is titled God’s Covenant to Pardon and Save. It concludes the series with a presentation of the New Covenant, showing how it is better than the Sinaitic Covenant because of Jesus’ perfect sacrifice and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the believer’s life.
The illustrations to the book are mostly minifig-scale LEGO dioramas, but some micro-scale creations, abstract creations, mosaics, and other builds are included as well. The LEGO models are all carefully built, posed, and photographed to illustrate the stories and spiritual lessons. While I noticed some advanced building techniques in some places, most of the creations are kept small and simple enough that if a child feels inspired, they could replicate the models with their own LEGO bricks.
I’m well aware of the large and complex LEGO creations Geneva can build, so keeping things simple for this book to inspire children is a nice touch. Simple doesn’t mean boring though. Geneva includes some very clever techniques throughout the builds – mostly in the form of reusing LEGO elements in interesting ways. The brick-built carpenter tools, musical instruments, animals, and miniature trees are some of my favorites, and I also really like the rainbow mosaic found at the cover of the book.
LEGO can be a very serious hobby, and spiritual too. A faithful life means turning anything material into spiritual by using it in the service of God. It is inspiring to see young LEGO fans transforming LEGO from a toy to a medium of spiritual expression. Geneva wrote me that to glorify God in everything she does – no matter how mundane or ordinary it might seem on the surface – is her goal. And, she certainly demonstrated that with these illustrations. Whether you are a Christian, or a practitioner of some other spiritual path, you can take inspiration from her example to express your innermost thoughts and beliefs with LEGO bricks. And, it would be nice to see more illustrated books using LEGO bricks!
You might also remember that this is not the first publication Geneva participated. Her LEGO creations are also included in the book Nature with Bricks: Beautiful LEGO Wild! You can find her review of that book here. Being a published author is Geneva’s ambition, with a focus on historical and literary fiction. She is looking at these book illustration projects as a learning experience for her next endeavors. If you are interested to check out God’s Covenant’s Retold in LEGO Bricks by Geneva and her mom, it is available on Amazon: GOD’S COVENANTS RETOLD IN LEGO BRICKS
What do you think? How do you like the idea of illustrating spiritual lessons and historical events with LEGO bricks? Have you done any similar projects yourself? Feel free to share your thoughts and discuss in the comment section below!
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