Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Read, You Must: Star Wars ABC-3PO

New from Disney-Lucasfilm Press comes Star Wars ABC-3PO, Galactic Basic Edition, a fun, funny and alphabetical look at the characters and creatures that make up the galaxy far, far away.

Authors Calliope Glass and Caitlin Kennedy have fun with the poetry and the book is wonderfully illustrated by Katie Cook’s cartoon art. (Artist Katie Cook was once a guest on the Star Wars Kidscast podcast). The poems are nicely varied in style, rhythm and length and consistently light in tone.

Each letter has a focused poem (from Admiral Akbar to Zeb) spotlighting characters, starships and moments from Star Wars Rebels and of course most of the Star Wars feature films including The Force Awakens. There’s no inclusion of anything from Attack of the Clones, Revenge of the Sith or even The Clone Wars TV show though.

A few samples of the fun rhymes inside:
From E for Ewoks:
“Ewoks are tricky. They seem fluffy and cute. But if they attack, you might want to scoot.”

From M for Millennium Falcon:
“A bucket of bolts, This hunk of junk, She jostles and jolts, From cockpit to trunk.”

From X for X-Wing:
“A fighting pair, droid and human, Astromech and rebel crewman.”

Some of the humour in ABC-3PO may be lost on casual fans, directly referencing longtime fans’ inside jokes like “It’s A Trap!” and Stormtroopers’ terrible marksmanship. At times it feels like the book is trying too hard to be witty – even the subtitle “Galactic Basic Edition” is never explained and becomes another inside joke and possibly confusing to casual or new fans. (FYI: In Star Wars lingo "Galactic Basic" just means English.)

Also by Calliope Glass
However, if you happen to be a parent AND a serious Star Wars nut like most of the readers of this blog, ABC-3PO is a fun way to reinforce and build on the basics, or to apply what your child is learning already from preschool, kindergarten or workbooks like the wonderful Star Wars Preschool ABC Fun from Workman Publishing.

Also by Katie Cook
Then again, the kids may have to wait until the adults are done enjoying this one! 

(Publisher’s recommendation: Ages 3-5)

Did you know?

There have been other Star Wars alphabet books before including Scholastic’s Star Wars ABC (2010). ABC-3PO has more in common though with the 1984 Read-Along Book Star Wars Adventures in ABC which also contained humourous poems for each alphabetical entry. That book had very silly poems but surprisingly serious-looking artwork inside.

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