Lego City Book Review & Giveaway from Scholastic

Every month I get the pleasure of getting a sneak peek at the books that will be included in the Scholastic Book Club flyers that kids look forward to every month. Even better I get to choose one to share with my kids and with a reader! I know when I was a kid I poured over these like I did the Sears Wishbook, circling the books I wanted, and begging my parents for more to read. Nothing has changed I still love pouring over the book pics in each book club flyer. Last month I chose a It’s Christmas , David! by David Shannon but this month I decided to choose something geared for a slightly older audience.

 

Lego City Scholastic Reader Pack including LEGO City: 3, 2, 1, Liftoff! (Level 1) and LEGO City: All Hands on Deck! (Level 1) fit the bill. I know many of your kids are getting to the age where they are reading more independently and I have a hard time finding kids that don’t like Lego. My son has many of these books already and we’ve been really impressed. I was no less impressed with these two. I especially like the guide at the back of all the Scholastic readers that let parents and teachers see the suggested grade level,  guided reading level, Lexile level and word count.

LEGO City: 3, 2, 1, Liftoff! (Level 1) by Sonia Sander is a story about getting a space crew ready and into space. I admit I actually learned a few facts from this and so did my son. The word count is 227 words so for beginning readers it’s not too long but not so short it’s boring. The author keeps the reader engaged with simple sentences but avoids talking down to the reader in the process.  My son likes this book and because of it we’ve been focusing more on punctuation like the role of exclamation marks which are liberally used through this book. My one complaint is the lack of female mini figures. My daughter loves to have my son read her these books ( they are reading them as I type) and I wish she’d be able to see more women in the pictures too.

LEGO City: All Hands on Deck! (Level 1) by Marlyn Easton is another Lego City themed book. If you have any of the Lego City building sets it’s likely you’ll recognize a few in the illustrations. My son loved seeing ones he recognized and loved telling me which of his friends have this set or that.  I think being able to relate to a book via favorite toys is actually really positive. Some parents will be apprehensive about books that sprang from a toy franchise but at this age when many children ( boys especially) start showing less interest in books , it can be a great tool. My son loves to read but loves reading these books even more and I am all for it! This story is even simpler following a group of sailors that save a windsurfer from disaster on the water. It’s also shorter than the previous with only 160 words which is great to build children’s confidence in reading which is also key to keeping interest high. MY one complaint is the complete lack of girls in this book. I know the audience is boys but by not including a single girl the audience of girls will drop even more.

Even better than getting to read and keep these books is that I get to give both away to one lucky reader!

All you have to do is leave a comment and tell me the last book you read with your kids ( or if you are kid free the last book you read yourself).
I will choose a winner using random.org and notify the winner via email. The contest closes January 9th at 8pm PST.

Disclosure: I was not paid for this review although I did get to choose the books I received free to keep and giveaway. All opinions are mine.

Comments closed at 8pm PST any comments made after that are not valid- we have another Scholastic Book Giveaway in a few weeks!

Lego Books We Love

If you are a loyal reader you may have noticed that my son’s seemingly ever present Batman shirt has been replaced. Yes we are on to a new obsession. Are your kids like this too? Do they dive into something obsessively? Well our new thing here is Lego – mostly Lego Star Wars but Lego City is a close 2nd. I firmly believe in using their love to keep them learning and finding books that interest them instead of trying to force their interest in books we like.  So here are some Lego themed books to look for at the library or while you are shopping for holiday gifts.

 

City Adventures, No. 3: Calling All Cars! (Lego Reader, Level 1) by Sonia Sander was the first Lego book we checked out from the library a while back. We’ve since bought the book because my son loved reading it and could do it without any help.  The story is a simple one about a bank robber and the police that must save the day. Stories like this really appeal to young kids because they are so black and white. The bad guy stole money , now the good guy will get him! What I love about them is that they involve him even more in the Lego world, and after reading he does go and create more.

LEGO City: Fire Truck to the Rescue (Level 1): Fire Truck To The Rescue! by Sonia Sander is another great Lego book for emergent and early readers. If your child is like my son and loves fire fighters and fire trucks this is a great book. Not just because of the subject matter but also because they may already be familiar with how some of those words look in print, giving them some confidence to tackle this book solo! My son likes to make stations out of duplo and act out this book after reading it. It’s also a favorite for rides in the car.

LEGO City: Ready for Takeoff! (Level 1) is not just a cute book for Lego fans but also for anyone taking a trip by plane to get their kids ready for what to expect.  I was pleasently surprised by the quality of the details and how well it helps my son prep for air travel. We got it for a trip from Seattle to Chicago we took this summer and it was an instant hit. The text is a great mix of sight words, words that need to be sounded out and the illustrations are wonderfully helpful for kids needing visual clues for some words.  Even if you aren’t going on a plane any time soon this is a good book all about air travel, and it just happens to also be set in Lego City.

LEGO Kingdoms Defend the Castle (DK READERS) by Hannah Dolan is another Lego book I find my son curled up reading solo. This one is about two feuding groups of knights and there is an evil wizard in there too. Knights are a big part of my son’s pretend play so I knew this book would be a hit when I bought it. I like the vocabulary in this book, my son loves big words too andI find him repeating the words quietly to himself as he practices the pronunciation.  It makes me happy to know he is reading what he wants to but I don’t have to worry that he isn’t being stretched as a reader or reading complete drivel in an attempt to read what he’s interested in.

LEGO Star Wars Character Encyclopedia was the most loved 5th birthday gift my son received.  I can not tell you how much my son loves this book and as someone who adores reference materials herself I can’t say I blame him. I love this book too, it’s helping me speak his language and know who and what he’s talking about all the time. So like the cover says  it’s a character encyclopedia, there is no story, instead every page is dedicated to one Star Wars character turned mini figure. Now most of the text tells you about the Lego sets the mini figure comes in , variations on the mini figure and when it first appeared in the toy. However there is still a great description of the characters and huge illustrations of each. The small amount of text is perfect for my son and since he is into the characters not the collector like details he simply skips that without missing out on anything. I should say that this unlike the previous books is not a leveled reader. If I was making a guess I would say that it’s geared towards the average 8-10 year old. I definitely have to help and or read the majority of this book, especially the more obscure Star Wars names. I love that we can read a little or read a lot and that the book is not such a heavy volume because I have a feeling it will be the book of choice at night for months to come!