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The LEGO Icons ‘Botanical Collection’ has quickly become a very popular subtheme for adult builders. Introduced in 2020, we’ve gotten a couple of additions to the collection every year. To accompany these sets, Chronicle Books is providing an almanac with more details regarding these sets and their real life counterparts.

To judge a book by it’s cover, this one looks fancy from the outside. Presented in hardcover format with a black cover with hand drawn illustrations by Nina Pace. Also included (and carefully stored in an enveloppe on the inside of the back cover) is a collectible botanical print.

The illustrations are quite stunning. Each page dedicated to a flower shows the full (brick built) flower, some more detailed drawings and also some drawings for individual LEGO parts. The combination of these are really appealing. In this review you’ll find some pictures that give an impression of the way the book is illustrated. Other than these illustrations you’ll find full color pictures from sets and alternate builds for the bonsai tree.

In the almanac, 27 flowers/plants trees get these detailed double pages. The way this is done really reminds of a scientific field guide with several details on each bloom, like naming, height, flowering time etc. After this there is a nice blend describing both real life bloom and LEGO version. There are facts about part usages, the history of specific parts. So if you’re more interested in the LEGO side of things, there’s plenty to discover as well!

There are also various other topics discussed in the almanac. This ranges from the plants from plants initiative to tips on arranging your own bouquets or adjusting certain blooms to fit in your arrangements.

There are interviews with several designers included in the book, especially the one with Nicolaas Vás about the history of his Bonsai trees is very interesting. And of course the frogs get their moment in the spotlight as well. Other designers that were interviewed are Astrid Sundorf Christensen, Michael Psiaki, Milan Madge and Anderson Ward Grubb.

Despite the almanac being a mixed bouquet of topics, it’s still very coherent. The interviews are blended in over the course of the 112 pages. This way it’s interesting all the way through. And it certainly welcomes to keep coming back to the book to pick up on a few new facts every time.

When looking at the sets mentioned in the book, there are a couple missing. With the production time for a book like this and the relentless release schedule by LEGO it’s virtually impossible to stay up to date. And we can only assume that LEGO wasn’t willing to share details for upcoming sets with the publisher while the book was in production. It could have been nice to expand upon the existing plants and flowers with some extra designs not included in sets. Deviating from the set collection a bit more would have made the missing sets less obvious. However, it’s not a major issue and will always occur when publishing physical books.

The book has a very fair price at £14.99/$19.99. Prices may vary at different retailers however, since I’ve seen it advertised at Dutch retailer Bol for €13.97. This gives it a similar price to the smaller botanical sets. 

In conclusion, we think this field guide is a perfect gift for any fan of both flowers and LEGO, especially combination of both in the Botanical Collection. And of course treating yourself to this almanac is also part of that. The illustrations are beautiful to look at and the book is informative about both flowers and the LEGO botanical products.

The book is available from March 19th 2024. If you’re planning on buying it, be sure to support your local independent book store.


Disclaimer:

The Brick Post was provided with an advance review copy by publisher Chronicle Books. We thank them for sending us a copy. All views expressed however are our own. Receiving a free copy has not influenced the contents of this review. 

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Bricksterdam
The Brick Post's Foreign Correspondent, AFOL from The Netherlands, member of Lowlug, PAB addict. 

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