LEGO

Around our house Legos bring about feelings of awesomeness. Not everyone is obsessed with Legos and collecting them, but my son aspires to be a Lego designer in the future. There are large numbers of Legos around and long amounts of time spent constructing. I didn’t play with Legos enough when I was young.  We didn’t have access to them or maybe I didn’t have access to my brother’s and I didn’t have any of my own. I feel as though I am making up for it now, because I love having Legos around and letting everyone in the family have access to them. I am not amazing at creating structures from pure imagination, like my son, but I do find a lot of satisfaction from sorting and following a pattern or instructions. 

Sometimes, after amassing a large amount of Legos in your house, there may be times where you need a spark of creativity to extend Lego play or to entice those who play with Legos less often to start playing with them more or in a different way. The cool thing about Legos is they are open-ended and there isn’t a right or wrong way to play with them. Anyone can be successful to their own degree or desire. Lego books are out there for everyone from the young to grown-up and for every level of interest to extend Lego play. The newest builder up through the professional level can be inspired by books. Some have specific patterns that are easy to follow and fool-proof. There are other idea books without any patterns that just spark creativity to use the bricks. Here are a few fun books the library has:

7.1 Amazing Brick MosaicsAMAZING BRICK MOSAICS
By Amanda Brack
(2018)

This guide contains instructions to create beautiful 2-D mosaics. The plan for each creation is divided up in four quadrants with a picture of each specific brick needed to complete the design. The designs are intricate, but the instructions help simplify the process. It is a great place to start getting into mosaics. After my son checked this out, he was able to create his own from imagination.  

 

7.1 Amazing ABCAMAZING ABCS
By Sean Kenney
(2012)

Lego books are created even for the youngest of readers. This board book has bricks made into each letter of the alphabet, perfect for introducing the excitement of Lego to the next generation of builders.  

 

7.1 LEGO Play BookLEGO PLAY BOOK: IDEAS TO BRING YOUR BRICKS TO LIFE
By Daniel Lipkowitz
(2013)

Lego bricks are easy to collect and although there are endless possibilities, sometimes looking through someone else’s ideas can really spark creativity. This idea book has several different chapters, each with an idea subject created by Lego fans.  

 

7.1 LEGO Architecture Idea BookTHE LEGO ARCHITECTURE IDEA BOOK: 1001 IDEAS FOR BRICKWORK, SIDING, WINDOWS, COLUMNS, ROOFING, AND MUCH, MUCH MORE!
By Alice Finch
(2018)

This idea book is for serious Lego fans, especially those interested in architecture details to add to their structures. Finch relates it to how a thesaurus would be useful for writers, this guide with detailed ideas can help to augment structures for Lego builders with the ideas she has compiled over years of working with Legos professionally. 

 

7.1 Beautiful LEGOBEAUTIFUL LEGO
By Mike Doyle
(2013)

Just as the title describes, Doyle has gathered together a large collection of incredible Lego structures, over 267 pages of mostly photographs. The bricks are themselves a medium artists use to create structures. More than just Lego fans can appreciate the talent that goes into the works of arts contained inside.

 

Headphones

The past few years has seen the rise of podcasts. From solving cold cases, to chronicling every episode of the Gilmore Girls, there’s a show out there for everyone. And while it’s great to sit down and listen to an episode, sometimes I’m in the mood for a book. Lucky for me, some of my favorite podcasters have turned their creations into great reads. Here are a few great podcasts that just happen to be written down. 

6.14 The World of LoreTHE WORLD OF LORE: MONSTROUS CREATURES
By Aaron Mahnke
(2017)

Aaron Mahnke self-published several books before creating his breakout podcast, “Lore”. This book chronicles the strange, spooky, and absolutely true stories that made “Lore” not only a popular podcast, but tv series as well. Read through the real supernatural stories that haunt the chronicles of history. For more spine-tingling tales, check out the sequels, DREADFUL PLACES and WICKED MORTALS

 

6.12 Here There Be GerblinsTHE ADVENTURE ZONE. HERE THERE BE GERBLINS
By Clint McElroy

The family that podcasts together, stays together. At least, that seems to be the case with Clint McElroy and his brothers, hosts and creators of such popular podcasts as “My Brother, My Brother and Me”, “Sawbones”, and many, many other shows. In this comic book adaptation of “The Adventure Zone”, the brothers join their father for a magical journey through a Dungeons and Dragons campaign. Laugh, gasp and giggle as the family wades through a fantasy world filled with evil sorcerers, tea-drinking werewolves and goblin mines with terrible workplace comp. 

 

6.12 Alice isnt DeadALICE ISN’T DEAD 
By Joseph Fink
(2018)

Though Joseph Fink is known as the co-creator of the surreal, supernatural, “Welcome to Nightvale”, it’s his second go at podcasting that really shows off his storytelling skills. It chronicles the story of Keisha as she drives her semi truck cross-country, looking for her signs of her missing wife, Alice. As she drives she encounters strange and unusual happenings, which may or may not connect with Alice’s disappearance

 

shape shifters

You know that get-to-know-you question that everyone has been asked: if you could have one superpower, what would it be?  My answer has always been shapeshifting!  I have always been fascinated by the idea.  How amazing would it be to see the world from a birds-eye view on a lazy breeze, or change to something faster and stronger than a human, or to something small so as to sneak around unnoticed? 

Of course there are more than these, but here are some of my favorite books that feature shapeshifting in some form or another. 

6.12 HawksongHAWKSONG (Keisha’ra #1)
By Amelia Atwater-Rhodes
(2010)

Probably one of the first shapeshifter books I ever read, Hawksong is about Danica Shardae, whose other form is a hawk, heir of the avian throne.  Her people have been in a war against the neighboring serpiente shifters for so long that no one remembers why they started fighting in the first place.  Weary of fighting and loss, she will do anything to stop the war, even accept enemy leader Zane Cobriana as her pair bond.  All he asks is her trust, but it may be more than she can give.  Each book in this series focuses on a different character, but they all tie together for a fuller story than one character could give alone. 

 

6.12 ShapeshifterSHAPESHIFTER
By Holly Bennett
(2010)

Shapeshifter brings together two of my favorite themes, shapeshifting and Celtic legends.  Sive is an immortal woman of the Otherworld who must flee to the mortal lands of Eire in the shape of a deer to escape the dark druid, who wants to control her gift of song.  I especially like how this book stays very close to the Celtic legends the author pulls from, and of course that the plot pivots around Sive’s ability to shift into a deer. 

 

6.12 Moon CalledMOON CALLED (Mercy Thompson #1)
By Patricia Briggs
(2006)

This series is hands down my favorite featuring shapeshifters at the moment.  Mercy Thompson is a Native American shapeshifter raised by a pack of werewolves.  She left the pack behind her and now runs a mechanic shop she bought from a gremlin (who still stops in regularly) and services the cars of the local vampire seethe.  But when a half-starved, newly changed werewolf shows up at her shop, Mercy is forced to ask her neighbor, the local pack alpha, for help with the new wolf struggling to control his animal instincts.There are 10 books so far in the series with another one coming out in March 2019, as well as a sister series, Alpha and Omega, which starts with Cry Wolf that focuses on Mercy’s almost brother Charles and his mate Anna. Start with Moon Called, because the Mercy books explain all the magic, but be aware that the chronology of the two series overlaps.  As a side note: the cover art of the books look rather scandalous, but that vibe is not reflected in the content of the books. 

 

6.12 The Swan MaidenTHE SWAN MAIDEN
By Heather Tomlinson
(2007)

Doucette’s older sisters are swan maidens, born with a swan-skin that allows them to transform into swans and learn sorcery.  Every summer Doucette watches her sisters leave to spend the months learning magic from their aunt while she is stuck at home learning to become a chastelaine.  When she discovers her mother has been lying to her and finds her own swan-skin, she runs away to learn from her aunt.  All she wants is freedom to choose, but will she be able to live with her choices?  I like this one because it is an easy read with a good lesson to go with it. 

 

6.12 Dragons BaitDRAGON’S BAIT
By Vivian Vande Velde
(2003)

Alys is falsely accused of being a witch, just so the neighbor can ‘legitimately’ steal her father’s workshop.  The villagers tie her up out in the middle of nowhere as an offering to the local dragon.  The dragon is uninterested, until she starts throwing rocks at him.  He changes to a human form and listens to her story, then agrees to help her exact revenge on the villagers.  But is revenge worth it?  This is the shortest book on my list and as such lacks a little bit for depth, but it’s great for someone looking for something short that won’t require much thought and I enjoyed it anyway. 

 

Smokey Bear 01

6.10 The Games BookTHE GAMES BOOK
By Huw Davies
(2009)

Smokey Bear obviously spends a lot of time outdoors in a camping-like environment. And there is a lot to do while on camping trips; however, sometimes you just want to play a game with the campers next door or do something a little different than hiking—and this book is perfect for that! Smokey can learn all sorts of games (including some that can be played or sung around a campfire). This book would definitely be helpful in getting long-term campers to enjoy their trips just a touch more. 

 

6.10 Scary Stories to Tell in the DarkSCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK
By Alvin Schwartz
(1981)

Inevitably whenever someone goes camping for long periods of time—and Smokey Bear is the king of camping—they end up having at least one night where they tell scary stories around a camp fire. This is the classic scary stories book that Smokey should add to his camping supply list. Even though they are classics—I’m sure there are at least a few of Smokey’s camping friends that haven’t had their socks scared off by some of these classic tales. 

 

6.10 National Parks of AmericaTHE NATIONAL PARKS OF AMERICA
By Michael Brett
(2001)

Smokey Bear loves being outdoors—and what better book to have than one that tells of some of the best places to spend time outdoors (our National Parks!). This book would go over all of the fun places that are set aside to enjoy—from the Appalachians in the East to the Grand Canyon in the West. This book would help Smokey plan which places he would enjoy visiting next. 

 

6.10 Wildlife of the WorldWILDLIFE OF THE WORLD 
By Jamie Ambrose
(2015)

With Smokey spending so much time outdoors, he is sure to run into a plethora of wildlife. Here is a book that talks about all kinds of animals that can be found in the wild. This book will help Smokey learn what to expect from these fascinating creatures that he might encounter. 

 

6.10 50 Burning Questions50 BURNING QUESTIONS: A SIZZLING HISTORY OF FIRE
By Tanya Lloyd Kyi
(2010)

The most important thing to Smokey Bear is that he wants to prevent forest fires and the destruction that they cause. And after a couple of years full of horrid fires, who can blame him? Here is a book that will help Smokey learn more about fires to hopefully help arm him with knowledge to help to prevent them in the future.

 

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