Tuesday, June 4, 2019

C-3PO Does Not Like Sand, But You'll Probably Like This Book!

What happens when C-3PO, R2-D2 and BB-8 get sent on secret mission to Tatooine for the Resistance? A LOT, apparently!

As their mission is simply to "scan the planet", they stroll and roll across the desert encountering nearly everything you can remember from past adventures on Tatooine. Creatures, aliens, racers and more are among the fun surprises on each turn of the 64 pages.

Poor C-3PO grows more and more annoyed at every step with the heat, the two other droids, and especially the sand getting in all of his inner-workings.

Yes, like his creator Anakin Skywalker, C-3PO Does NOT Like Sand!

This simple adventure story seems to be set after the events of The Last Jedi, based on the fact BB-8 is there and R2-D2 is back with them from his adventure with Rey.

Anakin didn't care much for sand either!
Since Disney-Lucasfilm Press began creating Star Wars picture books they have been pretty wildly different from each other. From the beautifully painted BB-8 On The Run, to the adorable Chewie & the Porgs to the dark-yet-very-silly Are You Scared, Darth Vader?, there are now a small variety of stories to choose from for bedtime or anytime reading for very young Star Wars fans.

C-3PO Does Not Like Sand! feels more like a book from the 1970's than 2019 and creates a wonderful nostalgic feeling for adults reading it.

The story by Caitlin Kennedy and illustrations by Brian Kesinger give it a look and feel almost like a Dr. Seuss book, but also has a lot in common with classic Sesame Street Grover books like The Monster at the End of This Book.

Even more though, this book is a delight for fans of the 80's Droids cartoon TV series. It's very much the kind of misadventure seen regularly on that show, with a similar sense of humour.

The spine is the only place that does this but the book is identified there as a "Droid Tales" book. Let's hope there's many more Droid Tales to come, and hopefully with K-2SO or L3-37!
For those of us who grew up on Star Wars, C-3PO Does Not Like Sand! is a lot of fun to read with younglings, or just to enjoy ourselves.

(Publisher's Recommendation: 4 - 8 years)

Monday, April 29, 2019

Read, You Must: Alien Archive

New from Disney - Lucasfilm Press is Star Wars: Alien Archive (A Guide to the Species of the Galaxy), an in-universe guide to nearly every alien species, from gigantic creatures like Rancors and Krayt Dragons to Jawas, Porgs, Tookas and well, whatever Yoda is!

Page after page of colourful illustrations, facts, and notable examples of each alien species fill this oversized 157 page hardcover. Basically anything that isn't a human and isn't a droid is probably covered in here somewhere.

The book is written in-universe, meaning the "author" is Xoddam Lothipp, Deputy Director of something called the "Graf Archive". The contents are presented as though this journal archive was discovered within the Star Wars galaxy.

Alien Archive has a very similar feel to 2016's Star Wars: Galactic Maps and works well as a companion to that book. Like in Galactic Maps, the all-new illustrations have an old-fashioned "wood cut" feel, once again by Tim McDonagh. It also covers some of the same ground as 2016's Aliens of the Galaxy, but it goes into far more depth and is about four times as long!
Galactic Maps (2016)

If you don't know an Ewok from an Ugnaught, is the book for you. Alien Archive is impressively comprehensive, including creatures and aliens from of course the Star Wars movies (as recent as Solo) as well as those only seen in The Clone Wars and Rebels

A treat for the die-hard fans is also discovering creatures only seen in novels, comics, games or even from the Ewok adventure TV specials. 

For most of the species presented there are notable examples given, hints as to where the reader may have seen this creature before. It would be nice to have some sort of footnotes to help readers find some of the more obscure species on screen or wherever they're from. However, since this book is in-universe, it doesn't really acknowledge that Star Wars IS a bunch of movies, TV shows and more. As far as the author is concerned, this is all real!

Longtime fans and brand-new fans of any age will find plenty to discover and enjoy in this archive. Highly recommended!

(Publisher's recommendation Ages 8-12)

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