365 Things to Do with LEGO Bricks is the most original and useful LEGO book for kids that I’ve seen yet. Unlike most of the DK LEGO books it is useful and interesting for all ages. In fact I would say this book is perfect for an adult who is somewhat unfamiliar with LEGO but would like to get started with building their own original creations, such as a parent or spouse/partner of a LEGO hobbyist.
The book’s front cover is unlike any book I’ve seen. It includes an electronic activity selector/timer built into the cover, which can be used to randomly select a number from 1 to 365 corresponding to the suggested projects in the book. The timer allows you to set a time limit to build against the clock, or to count how long it takes you to build it. Also the front cover is hinged, like one of those magazines where the front cover can be unfolded to reveal a poster. Except in this case, it’s to provide the thickness for the electronic timer thingy (which shows through a hole in the cover) as well as to allow you to access the timer while you have the pages open.
The first section of the book provides several indices to all 365 projects, organized in a variety of taxonomies, to enable you to find something to do in various ways. That is followed by some introductory materials talking about types of LEGO elements, basic construction techniques, and tips for creativity.
Then the rest of the book consists of the 365 projects. Each 2-page spread of the book has about 3 projects, so the whole book comes to 256 pages. They range wildly in scope and type, from realistic minifig models to abstract art projects; there are microscale, macroscale, functional, and decorative projects. They are all fairly simple, but no instructions are given, so you have to work to figure out how they are built and you’re not really expected to build a perfect copy of what’s in the book.
Projects are contributed by a group of talented builders: Barney Main, Rod Gillies, Alice Finch, Joshua Berry, Kevin Hall, Jason Briscoe, Drew Maughan, Naomi Farr, and Stuart Crawshaw. There is a brief bio of each in the back of the book.
Disclaimer: I was sent a complimentary preview copy of this book by DK Publishing. It will be available to the public October 4, 2016. Retail price is US$24.99 (available for preorder on Amazon)