Next up in my series of LEGO book reviews for your last minute gift needs.
LEGO Adventure Book: Cars, Castles, Dinosaurs & More, Megan Rothrock, 2013, No Starch Press.
If you're only going to buy one LEGO book this year, this is the one to get. Editor Megan Rothrock is a well known member of the community, whose MOCs can be found on Flickr, and this book celebrates the community. Do you remember the LEGO Idea Books? Over the years LEGO released several of these booklets that went beyond the instruction sets found in any individual set. These books were a mix of instructions and just inspirational photos that could show you what you could build with enough time, practice, and, of course, more LEGO. Meg's book looks back to that tradition, and also celebrates the community.
The book is mostly photos (all high quality). What text there is is primarily in comic book style, as Meg's sig-fig travels through the world of LEGO, meeting the sig-figs of other prominent builders and seeing their MOCs. In addition to Meg herself, featured builders come from all different areas of the LEGO community, both geographically and in terms of building theme: Craig Mandeville, Are J. Heiseldal, Moritz Nolting, Jon Hall, Pete Reid, Peter Morris, Mark Stafford, Aaron Andrews, Mike Psiaki, Katie Walker, Carl Greatrix, Sylvain Amacher and Daniel August Krentz.
The book is 200 pages long and contains 'nearly 200 example models from the world's best builders.' There are about 25 MOC breakdowns. Not exactly step-by-step instructions as you would get in an official set, but detailed photos at different stages of construction so that an experienced builder could reproduce the model without too much difficulty. Subject matter covers the gamut, from a dinosaur, to a classic castle, to trains car and town buildings, to robots, mecha, steampunk and space ships. This is pretty much all at fig scale (except arguably Pete Reid's turtle-bots).
Anyway, I give this one my highest recommendation. The proper audience is just about anyone. The kid starting out will see this as inspiration of all the cool things you can build. The intermediate builder will enjoy reproducing the models. The long-time AFOL will love the celebration of the community, including popular builders and fan-created themes. Perhaps the best part of this book is the fact that it is listed on No Starch as 'Volume 1', implying we've got a whole series of these to come. Perhaps in upcoming books we'll get as-yet missing themes, like Western, or other building scales like micro and miniland. I suspect that even now Meg is contacting people to be involved in future volumes, so I'll be excited to see where this goes in the future.
MicroBricks-specific content - Arguably Pete Reid's turtle bots are microscale, though here they interact with figs.