Star Wars: The Adventures Of Luke Skywalker, Jedi Knight (Tony DiTerlizzi & Ralph McQuarrie)

Hello, friends! Today’s book is Star Wars: The Adventures Of Luke Skywalker, Jedi Knight, written by Tony DiTerlizzi and featuring the art of Ralph McQuarrie, the celebrated concept artist of the original Star Wars trilogy.

Using McQuarrie’s jaw-dropping original concept art, the reader is introduced to Luke Skywalker, a farmboy with a great destiny. When he finds two droids who have an urgent message for a Jedi Knight in hiding, Luke decides to help them and finds himself drawn into an adventure that will take him across the galaxy.

Oooh, as much as I hate to say it, this one has a limited audience. Firstly, of course McQuarrie’s art is gorgeous, and fans of his will likely love following original trilogy against the backdrop of his incredible work. However, these are concept sketches, and do not always match the finished movies; therefore, young fans might not understand why familiar characters like Chewbacca or Yoda look nothing like their movie counterparts. Also, the material that the sketches cover limit the ability to tell the story in its entirety: Obi-Wan features heavily in the early part of the book, then goes off to disable the tractor beam on the Death Star and sort of just… disappears (there is no McQuarrie art of the duel with Darth Vader, so this important plot point gets skipped over). The length is also WAY to much for baby bookworms – JJ barely made it to the end of the first third. However, the author does a commendable job of stringing together the art, which is undeniably the star of the show, with the story. And JJ did love the art, which is as colorful, beautiful and affecting as anyone who has seen it knows. So, while this might be a really cool one for McQuarrie fans, definitely give it a flip-through beforehand and decide if it’s right for your little Padawan. Otherwise, it’s still Baby Bookworm approved!

Star Wars Epic Yarns: A New Hope (Jack & Holman Wang)

Hello friends, and May the Fourth be with you! The Baby Bookworm family are HUGE Star Wars fans (if you couldn’t tell from JJ’s custom, handmade Millennium Falcon dress), so we definitely wanted to celebrate today with a Star Wars book. We chose Star Wars Epic Yarns: A New Hope by Jack and Holman Wang, an adorable board book that mixes some incredible Star Wars crafting with the classic tale of Luke, Leia and Han’s first epic adventure.

Using needle-felted wool figures on miniature backgrounds, the photos set up some of classic scenes from A New Hope, paired with simple, kid-friendly beginner text. “Princess” accompanies the iconic shot of Leia recording her message on R2-D2. “Captain” as Han Solo faces off against Greedo (no blasters in sight though, so who knows who shot first…). “Heroes” as the team lines up across the stairs at the medal ceremony.

This is a really cool board book for little Star Wars lovers and their parents, mixing sweet crafted versions of nostalgically iconic visuals with simple concepts. It’s a great way to introduce young readers to simple words while also bringing them into the universe of a galaxy far, far away. Plus, there are companion books for the entire original trilogy, so the story can continue in The Empire Strikes Back and Return Of The Jedi. The length is perfect for even the tiniest of younglings, and JJ absolutely loved this. Definitely Baby Bookworm approved!