Timed to coincide with the release of Warner Bros. and DC's The Lego Ninjago Movie are four shiny new hardback publications for younger readers or, indeed, those who are young at heart.
The first two titles are part of publisher DK's commitment to introducing reading to youngsters with their popular 'DK Reader' level 1, 2, 3 and 4 series which already boast a number of other Lego tie-ins as well as a comprehensive list of Star Wars books. The idea of using popular movies as a way of encouraging kids to read is a positive step in what can often seem like an otherwise educationally vacuous culture. These books differ from other film spin-off titles which are often little more than badly truncated story-lines with accompanying film-stills in that, while they are still very well illustrated, the writing is thoughtfully constructed to be followed easily and the content will keep the young reader's attention with interesting facts about his or her favorite characters and locations. The books themselves are smallish and easily manageable with little hands, as with DK's other books there are notes for parents outlining their intended purpose and what ages they are aimed at but, be under no illusion, these books are not going to get your child ready for any kind of formal exam. What they will do, at the very least, is encourage them to open, explore and enjoy books in general which is a modestly noble feat in itself.
The Ninjago Movie Essential Guide is a bigger, non-level-specific publication aimed at older children and young teens. It is as colourful and chaotic as you'd expect from a Lego book, with lots of fun stuff to read about the movie's heroes and villains.
Finally, the biggest of all is The Ultimate Sticker Collection with its 30 or so pages of scenes to complete using the 1000 plus stickers included. The stickers are great quality and range in size from massive 2-3-inch ones down to tiny ten by ten-millimeter square stickers of which there are hundreds to stick all over the house!
These books are all great fun and at DK's sensible and affordable pricing should find their way into deserving Christmas stockings this year.
LEGO NINJAGO, SECRET NINJA FORCE & SHARK ATTACK; THE NINJAGO MOVIE ESSENTIAL GUIDE; THE NINJAGO MOVIE ULTIMATE STICKER COLLECTION / AUTHOR: JULIA MARCH / PUBLISHER: DK CHILDREN / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW