For The Young Star Wars Fan: Darth Vader and Son, and Other Summer Treats
Summer is the time for pleasure reading and book indulgence. And just in time, Chicago comic artist Jeffrey Brown has just come out with one of the best funny books I've read all year: Darth Vader and Son. The premise is simple: the Sith Lord as a modern-day Dad, juggling running his evil empire with raising his kids as a hands-on single father. I've seen a similar premise before in the Tiny Titans graphic books (where the evil supervillan Slade is cast as a responsible school principal) but it's never been so entertainingly explored as here. With lines like "When I was your age, we didn't even have Star Destroyers..." or "It is pointless to resist, my son...it's bedtime" (dragging a kicking young Luke off to bed), we see bad old Darth's hidden soft side. With its clear, colourful illustrations, this is a book that can be appreciated by even the youngest fan, and I'm betting some older ones will find it irresistable as well. Just out, this book is already so popular that a sequel is in the works (apparently involving Darth parenting a teenage Princess Leia).
Here's an author interview with Jeffrey Brown, and here's the publisher's book trailer:
If this only whets your child's appetite for more great Star Wars-related reading, check out Tom Angleberger's books, The Strange Case of Origami Yoda and Darth Paper Strikes Back. If your child liked the Wimpy Kid funny-chapter-book-with-pictures format, they'll find the Origami Yoda books similar. The plot revolves around an origami finger puppet who dispenses sage advice, in the manner of Yoda, to kids in the sixth grade of McQuarrie School. He also seems to be able to predict the future. Can a finger puppet really have The Force? The third book in the Origami Yoda series, The Secret of the Fortune Wookiee, comes out this summer. As Yoda would say, read, you should!
If your child prefers action to laughs, they might enjoy the Star Wars, The Clone Wars series of graphic novels put out by Dark Horse Comics. These books feature original adventure stories and high-quality art, set back in the time when Darth Vader (Anakin Skywalker) was Obi-Wan Kenobi's padawan, and still a good guy. The series, which is aimed at roughly ages 8-12, has received glowing reviews, with School Library Journal commenting that its "...brisk storytelling, bright colored artwork, and touches of humor will appeal to a wide audience." There are over a dozen titles in the series, and they can be read in any order. Here are a few to get you started:
Finally, if your child is entranced by the imaginative visuals of the Star Wars world, they may enjoy poring over our collection of Star Wars Visual Dictionaries. Always popular, these books showcase the characters, costumes and technology of the Star Wars stories with crisp, clear photography. Here's a sample spread:
What are your children's favourite Star Wars books?