Review: LEGO Star Wars: The Visual Dictionary

Publisher: DK Publishing

Released: September 21, 2009

Hardcover: 96 pages

From publisher:

In true DK style, LEGO® Star Wars™: The Visual Dictionary elucidates, illuminates, and
excites even the most discerning LEGO Group, Star Wars™, and minifigure fans around the
world.. Darth Vader, Boba Fett, Yoda, Luke Skywalker, and more are brought to life with
dozens of little-known facts and hundreds of photos, as are accessories, vehicles, weapons,
and even the Death Star! Learn about the history, manufacture, and construction of the
minifigures of the Star Wars galaxy, and come away a LEGO® Jedi Master.

Jacob's thoughts:

People will want this book if they like Lego. My favorite part was that I got special edition and you get a Lego guy in it. You get to see lots of Star Wars Lego in the book. You get to learn all about the Lego guys equipment and what sets they come in. I like that I saw Rotta because I never see him often. I think that the droids are cool.

Mom's thoughts:

Every Star Wars / Lego fans dream book! Inside is an extensive collection of Star Wars Lego sets from 1999 to 2009. The book is nicely broken down into four chapters - The Movie Saga, The Clone Wars, Specialist Sets & Beyond the Brick. A page is devoted to a character/set of characters providing a little background of the character or scene, along with information on the set (name, year, number of pieces, Lego number and film(s) they appears in) and pictures...tons of pictures!

I can see why this was on the NY Times Best Seller's list for so many weeks. Jacob loves both Star Wars and Lego, so this book was bound to be a hit. The fact that it came with a 'Lego guy' (an exclsive Luke Skywalker), as you can see above, put him over the moon. As we looked over the book together, it was fun to find the sets we own & characters/ships that his cousins have passed down to him. I heard a lot of "need it, want it, got it" and "wow, this is as old as me" as we turned the pages. He's taken this book to school, showed his friends that come over to the house, and won't let his younger brother touch it; all signs that this is a keeper and one he'll be cherishing for a while.
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Review: The Lion & The Mouse by Jerry Pinkney

Hardcover: 40 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (Sep 1 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0316013560
ISBN-13: 978-0316013567

Product Description:

In award-winning artist Jerry Pinkney's wordless adaptation of one of Aesop's most beloved fables, an unlikely pair learn that no act of kindness is ever wasted. After a ferocious lion spares a cowering mouse that he'd planned to eat, the mouse later comes to his rescue, freeing him from a poacher's trap. With vivid depictions of the landscape of the African Serengeti and expressively-drawn characters, Pinkney makes this a truly special retelling, and his stunning pictures speak volumes.

I had seen mention of this book around the web, particularly that it had won The Caldecott Medal: this  intrigued me. With many thanks to Melanie at Hachette, I received a copy of this stunning book to review.

From the picture above (which is the dust cover) to the book cover itself, the inner linings, as well as the actual content of the book, Jerry Pinkney's drawings are beautiful, and barely any space is left blank. The size contrast between the lion and the mouse, the visual effect of the lion's roar, and the mouse diligently working to free the trapped lion, are lively rendered through the pages. The stunning drawings of the Serengeti are a reminder, also, of the delicate nature of our world in Earth's current tumultuous time.

Aesop's story was one that I vaguely remembered, but on reading the author's note at the end, I had to re-read it for myself (which I found online). With Mr. Pinkney's version, it is truly a tale we can teach our children from a very early age, with the purely visual aspect, but also remind ourselves how relevant the moral of the story is and how it transforms through circumstances and remains true in this modern age.

Definitely a fantastic addition to any book collector's library!

Happy Reading!
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