Friday, May 4, 2012

May the 4th be with You

Since today is May 4th, also known as May the 4th (force) Be With You Day, I thought I would share a few of my favorite Star Wars books.  My husband is very much into all things Star Wars and has been since a very young age. I have written blog posts with him that draw everything back to Star Wars.  Knowing that, it may be no big surprise that our home has a few Star Wars books, many Star Wars toys, and I believe every Star Wars movie. Every. Single. One.

First, I will start with books for the very young.  Star Wars ABC from Scholastic Publishers is a oversized board book that features different Star Wars related characters/terms for each letter of the alphabet.  The photographs are very high quality and all directly from the movies.  All of the movies are represented in the books with Chewbacca, Padme, Young Obi-Wan, Mace Windu, Ewoks, and Han Solo all making appearances.  Lil Guy at age 3 loves this book.  He is able to recognize and name each page easily.  The overall format of the book is very well done with full page pictures, bold themed letters, and very Star Wars themed fonts, borders, and writing.  If you have a Star Wars lover in your family, I highly recommend this book.  It’s a great primer for even the youngest children with nothing scary and no fighting is portrayed in pictures or words.  Soon to be published is Star Wars 123.  We can’t wait for this book due to be out July 2012.

The next set of books is also from Scholastic.  Traditional sized board books with thick pages are Star Wars themed with Heroes, Villains, and Spaceships.  The books have photographs from the movies, or in the case of Spaceships books illustrations that clearly are part of the Star Wars vault of artwork straight from the movies.  Heroes and Villans each feature some of our favorite characters.  Yoda,  Darth Maul, General Grievous, Luke, and more are all represented.  Along with a one sentence description of the character is a line from the movie.  I like this tie in to the films, and in our family calls for character’s voices to be used.  The Spaceships book on the other hand offers Boom! Zip! and other sounds in comic book like bubbles.  The villains book has some scary looking characters, but little fans might already recognize these bad guys (and girls).  These books are great in the hands of toddlers, I do recommend them.

There are many many other Star Wars books for readers of all ages.  We have a few of the DK Readers series of Star Wars books.  These books feature uncluttered pages and text along with photographs and clear descriptions of characters and simple adaptations of stories between favorite characters.  The best part of the books is the levels which are clearly marked on both the front and back covers.  If you can, make sure to look inside the book before you buy to match level and interest with your reader.  Sometimes the leveling can be a little off.  The books have big spoilers for the movies sometimes and do have some scenes of fighting in the higher levels.

Besides these Star Wars selections I wanted to be sure to highlight the wonderful series from Tom Angleberger, Origami Yoda.  These middle grade books are not set within the Star Wars Expanded Universe, but feature classmates that are Star Wars fans.  In The Strange Case of the Origami Yoda and Darth Paper Strikes Back, the ‘main characters’ as it may be are all origami versions of Star Wars characters that talk through the pre-teens characters in the book.  The stories are based on school-aged problems and friendships and offer Star Wars fans a fun connection to a fictional story including other Star Wars liking kids.  Not only will Star Wars fans enjoy the books, boys and girls will like the structure of the books.  Each page is typed from a child’s point of view, as if a child had messily thrown together a set of stories all connected.  There are hand drawn cartoons, handwritten scribbles, and several voices used throughout the book.  The story is very good as well!  It’s MG fiction at its best with boys and girls working together to stick up for someone who is different and solving problems creatively!  If you haven’t checked out these books, hurry up and read the first 2 books, because the 3rd book is set to release in August of this year.  I highly recommend. These books should not be missed.

That's my review of Star Wars books for kids.  I am sure if my husband was writing this post there would be about 1,000 additions to the list.  If you have additions, add them into the comments below.  Enjoy Star Wars Day and May the Force Be with You! 

My husband read this Star Wars post and decided to add this comment: I am not quite the voracious reader that some of you are, however I wouldn't be nearly the reader I am without Star Wars.

It was May 1991 when Heir to the Empire by Timothy Zahn came out. It was the first of a trilogy, the first book in the modern day Star Wars expanded universe, and the first serious original Star Wars story since Return of the Jedi was released 8 long years before. It would be 6 more years until a Star Wars movie returned to the big screen, and 8 years before the prequel trilogy. 1983 to 1991 are what hardcore Star Wars fans refer to as the "dark times."

I was shocked the day I saw it on the bookstore shelf. I had to have it! $20 for a book, not a Nintendo game?!? Well this was something new for 15 year old me. I finished the book in a few days - shocking my family. I couldn't believe there was going to be another book...but I had to wait a whole year for it to come out! This is the book that hooked me on reading fiction. There are now well over 100 Star Wars novels (and I have read most of them) but whenever someone asks me which one to read first, I always recommend Heir to the Empire. I enjoy many of the books recommended by my wife, but Star Wars books will always be my first literary love and something I am so happy to share with my son.


  1. May the Fourth Be With You Day?? ha ha - never heard of that one, but I like it!

    My sons loved Star Wars books when they were younger. They still watch the movies, even though they've seen each one a dozen times!


    Great Books for Kids and Teens

    Book By Book

  2. I wish I had known about this "4th be with you" post last Friday. Our tech person at school goes by the nickname of Yoda & loves all things Star Wars. I loved the movies, but haven't read any of these, although I will try to read the Origami Yoda book. I've heard it's terrific. Thanks for visiting my post, today. It was fun to hear that you love the Byrd Baylor books too!