Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Read, You Must: Star Wars Epic Yarns

There has been an awakening…have you FELT it?

From the creative brothers behind the Cozy Classics children’s book series comes Star Wars Epic Yarns, a new series from Jack & Holman Wang retelling the original Star Wars trilogy stories (Episodes 4-6) in a very different and wonderful way!

Meet co-creator Holman Wang in Episode 12 of the Star Wars Kidscast podcast!

These three board books from Chronicle Books offer a unique look at the movies’ key scenes through gorgeously photographed needle-felted characters. Each movie in the original trilogy is presented in 12 images and 12 words. 

Obviously the pictures do most of the storytelling here, and they do an amazing job! For each scene the Holman brothers made all the characters, props, costumes and elaborate sets to re-create the key moments of the films. With cinematic lighting and beautiful photography as well, it’s challenging to really grasp the artistry and time involved. 

In an age where we’re used to seeing digital artwork it’s wonderful to see things made by hand, imperfections and all. The close-up photography really brings the reader into the scenes, and the characters really have character. The textures are so clearly visible you can almost feel them. 

As a fan of the Cozy Classics and (of course) Star Wars, I absolutely loved these books and was excited to see them when they were first announced. But what do kids think? While these certainly have appeal to Star Wars fans of almost any age, board books are by design intended for the youngest of pre-readers, so I brought in an expert: our daughter!

Our three-year-old book-lover seemed to really enjoy going through the Return of the Jedi book twice on her own, and has looked through it again since. She was emotionally engaged enough that she reacted happily to the “happy” scene at the end, and was upset by "hurt" Luke getting the force lightning treatment from the Emperor.  This child is very discriminating about books and will toss aside many if they don’t grab her interest. Epic Yarns Return of the Jedi certainly passed her test. As she continues learning to read the strong images will help her understand the limited vocabulary presented.

The Star Wars Epic Yarns books will often likely be bought as gifts for adults whether they have kids or not, but if you’re an adult looking for a VERY cool baby gift, or a way to introduce younglings to the Star Wars characters, Epic Yarns is a very warm and very fuzzy start!

"Vader's aboard that ship. I've felt him!"
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