Pages: 64 (Hardcover)
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Date: April 18, 2012
I have a lot of children’s books here at home. Being a father and a bibliophile means that most trips to the mall involve purchasing a new book or two for my son (as well as a new book or two for myself – I need to stop going to the mall so often). For the most part, I won’t be reviewing them here – there are plenty of wonderful bloggers and review sites out there that already do that job much better and with more knowledge than I can claim to have in the area. However, I will gladly make exceptions if, on occasion, I get a book for my son that also entertains and/or tickles me as I read it. This is one such book – and it is, in some ways, written more for me than it is for my four-year old boy.
Brown combines colorful drawings with an obvious joy at working with the Star Wars source material. Playing with the “No. I am your father” meme, Brown is able to turn that one line into an entire entertaining book that dips into scenes and events from the original trilogy. I know, 95% of you just said – “Hey, he got the quote wrong – Vader says ‘Luke, I am your father.'” And that’s what I used to think too – but check out the video below (which, amusingly, is even titled incorrectly so that people are more likely to find the video!):
There you go. Back to the review. Brown takes the idea of typical father/son moments, but places them in familiar Star Wars environments and situations, with tons of cameos in the background. From Luke playing in the trash compactor, to Vader reassuring him that it’s “only a Wookie” when Chewbacca frightens him, Brown is winking knowingly at those of us parents who grew up on the iconic franchise, and are now getting the opportunity to share it with our toddlers. There are even some nice inside jokes, such as Luke looking at a bunch of Jar-Jar dolls, with Vader saying, “This is not the toy you’re looking for,” or Luke complaining that Greedo pushed him, and Vader asking “Did you push him first?” Nods such as this make the book just as entertaining for parents as it is for children. In fact, the only drawback to the whole thing is that, presumably, I won’t be able to see the “Gotcha!” moment when my son watches the original films for the first time, as the big reveal has already been given to him by this book.
Steve’s Grade: B+
A fun book that can be enjoyed by children and parents alike, with a trip down memory lane for those of us that grew up with Star Wars. It doesn’t teach any life lessons, but it does connect with a number of situations that will be familiar to any parent of a toddler, past or present.
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