Cool Creations in 35 Pieces is Sean Kenney's FIFTH (sixth if you count his LEGO-ABC-board book) book meant to inspire kids (and adults) to create with LEGOs and think outside the box - the box that the predetermined Lego kit that most consumers buy comes in. I love LEGOs, but I am also part of the generation that grew up with the red, blue, yellow and white bricks that built whatever you decided to build with them, which in my case was mostly square houses. My kids have grown up with the kits and my husband has completely indulged them (who am I kidding, himself) and I am mostly o.k. with this. Living a short drive from Legoland California has made the whole LEGO experience exponentially cooler as well. But, I have to say, it really gets me down that my kids rarely dive into those buckets (and buckets and tubs) of LEGOs and free-build. And, because I believe that there is a book to address any issue in the world, I have been a fan of Kenney's books since his first came out in 2009.
As a bookseller, Cool Cars and Trucks caught my attention right away because, at that time, there were so few books for kids that featured Legos (this makes sense after learning Kenney's credentials, see the paragraph below). Right around that time, my favorite publisher of non-fiction books for kids and adults, DK, partnered with Lego and has now published hundreds of fiction and non-fiction books featuring Lego characters and themes and a handful of books that cover creating with Legos. But, when it comes to creating, Sean Kenney's books are the best. All you have to do is crack one open to see...
Anyone who has built a Lego will recognize the blue-background instructions on the right of the image above. Kenney's books have straightforward, easy to follow instructions on how to build his creations that kids will click with right away - pun intended... And, while I love the fact that Kenney's instructions mirror those that come with Lego kits, what I love best is the fact that his creations - and this goes for every book - are built, for the most part, with pieces that you should have laying around your house and have probably stepped on in the middle of the night more than a few times. So, your kids can open any of Kenney's books and start building as quickly as it takes to sort through the pieces on the floor of their rooms! This makes sense - Kenney has some great credentials. In 2005, Sean became the first LEGO certified professional (which means that he is licensed by the LEGO group to engage in certain types of commercial activities involving LEGO products) in the world. Now he Sean is one of only thirteen professionals globally that uses the colorful plastic bricks to design and build commissioned works, personalized gifts, and contemporary art. His New York City art studio has over 2 million LEGO pieces, where he builds and designs daily with his team of talented artisans.
Sean Kenney's other Cool Lego books!
Totally COOL Creations is Sean's newest book and is actually his first three books all in one and is a fantastic bargain at $19.95. Cool Cars and Trucks, Cool Robots and Cool City alone cost $12.99.
Cool Castles is Sean's other book for creators.
Artist and Sean Kenney in his work shop.