Someone gave us one of those easy reader books, the ones with large print and simple sentences about subject matter which might appeal to a five or six year old learning to read. I’m all about encouraging kids to read, but the topics are what get me. Some of them are great. Then there are others, like when they shorten and simplify complex stories like Star Wars or super heroes. Of course, this is what appeals to the audience. The kids, that is, not the adults often called upon to read these books.
Such was the case with the book we received. It’s called, Let’s Mix!, featuring something called LEGO Mixels. I’d never heard of them, but apparently they starred in a Cartoon Network TV show from 2014-2016. Having never seen it, a 15 page book of a few simple sentences about such characters as Infernites and Frosticons and Wiztastics who mix their various claws and limbs together to form new creatures was pretty baffling. Where do they come up with these things?! Needless to say, I wasn’t too impressed. I almost passed the book along to the thrift store in the name of saving shelf space for the real classics.
Then something funny happened. Randomly, Eddie latched onto Mixel book as inspiration to build his own funky creatures out of LEGO. And he was really good at it! He loves LEGO, but, other than a few interesting vehicles he calls Star Wars ships, he mostly sticks to following the directions. In this case, he wasn’t copying the book; he didn’t have the right pieces for exact-replica Mixels. But he impressively transferred the ideas presented to his own creative process. This is a breakthrough! In the past, Eddie has consistently “needed” the specific LEGO set and resisted our suggestions to build something similar from the collection of LEGO he already owns. Finally, he was doing it, building his own versions of Mixels instead of begging us to buy the official sets, which was great since Mixels are no longer in production and the sets are pretty pricey! Instead, Jonathan ordered a bunch of eyes, claws, teeth, and moving-part pieces from Brick Link (warning: an addictive site for LEGO lovers!) and Eddie went crazy!
Okay, lesson learned! Don’t be so quick to assume something is worthless. You never know what will inspire!