By Erin Hagar, Paige Garrison
Erin Hagar documents the story of the Lego company from its modest beginnings with young Ole Kirk, a shepherd wood carver, who went on to begin his business in carpentry and adjust to toy making following the Great Depression (and several other depressing events in his personal life, including a devastating fire and the loss of his wife and the mother to his four boys). The Lego Company’s most well-known creation, the Lego brick, was named the “toy of the century” in 2000. Each event between demonstrates the creativity and problem solving that made the Lego company (and this book) a global success.
Paige Garrison includes blueprints for both factory buildings and the bricks themselves and the visual of Lego bricks wrapping around the world is pretty impressive. The design of the book itself is blocky, utilizing the primary colors so well-known in the Lego system. I’d love to say that I think young readers will love this book, but I can do better. I know it. Because in my library, they already do! A fifth grade student began research in late November for an informational writing piece on the inventors of Lego and his teacher emailed me to see if we might be able to point him in the right direction. Since I had a copy from the publisher, I was able to save the day and deliver just what he needed. This book flew off the shelves before I could even get it on one. Readers and builders young and old will love this story of ingenuity and cutting-edge thinking. —Gary Anderson, writing instructor and kidlit blogger