LEGO Animal Atlas
78pp., hbk., RRP $A35.00
No matter which part of the planet you live in, there will be fascinating and unique creatures to see and learn about. From the blue-ringed octopus of Australia to guanaco of South America to the addax of Africa each continent and each habitat within that continent is populated with wildlife, familiar and not-so. In this new book from master children’s publishers DK, young readers are not only introduced to these creatures but are also provided with the Lego blocks to start constructing some of them.
Beginning with building instructions for a mini giraffe, panda, penguin and kangaroo for which the blocks are provided, suggestions are then made for making body parts like noses, eyes, teeth and beaks using the reader’s own collection of bricks. And if the reader doesn’t have them, they are encouraged to use their imaginations to substitute what they do have. There are tips on how and what to build with the emphasis on the fun of building rather than a perfect product.
Readers are then introduced to the world’s major habitats and continents and the unique species of each. As well as the clear photos and tips and tricks that will inspire building there is also a ‘model map’ with a colour-coded key designating the different bricks used for each habitat. So as well as making the unique creatures of Australasia, for instance, these can also be placed on a map base to show where they are found.
Of course it wouldn’t be DK without lots of tidbits of interesting information about the creatures backed up with a comprehensive glossary and index which support the child’s information literacy development. Learning is definitely fun! Because there are no step by step instructions for making the creatures apart from those for the giraffe, panda, penguin and kangaroo, just the clear photos and some suggestions for the trickier bits, challenging children to create their own instructions for a particular model using step-by-step photos using those initial instructions as an example would provide an authentic learning experience that would definitely stretch their skills, demonstrate their knowledge and be fun!
This would be a wonderful addition to those with makerspaces but because of the small parts provided it is only suitable for those over 6.