Are You Scared, Darth Vader? (Adam Rex)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Are You Scared, Darth Vader? by Adam Rex, a delightfully silly interactive book featuring Star Wars’ most notorious baddie.

What, if anything, is the deadly Sith Lord Darth Vader afraid of? A persistent narrator attempts to answer this question by presenting the mask-wearing master of the Dark Side with a number of traditionally spooky things, seemingly to no avail. Wolfman, vampire, ghost or witch? Not even a shudder. Spiders, black cats, public speaking? Nope, nope, and nope. The dark? Are you joking? Unable to find anything to spook the unflappable Vader, the narrator gives up, telling the monsters to remove their costumes. Wait, costumes? What were the monsters concealing – and is it enough to finally frighten a Sith Lord?

Goofy, clever fun. Creative dialogue, incredible design, and some truly funny humor for Star Wars fans young and old make this a great read from cover-to-cover. Little ones will delight in the final two forces that finally ruffle, then frighten, Vader, an especially nice way of turning the tables on the classic villain. And the wry humor is wonderfully expressive for kids but also peppers in some great Star Wars jokes for older fans, making it a blast to read aloud. The art is fabulous, especially the design of the bright yellow narrator’s text paired with the dour, white on black speech bubbles of Vader’s dialogue. The length is great, and JJ loved it. Brush up your Vader impression and share it with your little Star Wars fan – this one’s Baby Bookworm approved.

Top 5: Star Wars


Hello, friends! Well, after taking a few months off of our Top 5 lists, I am happy to say that they are back! And we’re coming back with one that we’re very excited about: Star Wars! As you might know, Star Wars: The Last Jedi will be in theaters on December 15th, so we thought we’d spend this month’s list taking a look at some of the best Star Wars picture books that we’ve reviewed.

So strap in, we’re ready to make the jump to lightspeed with The Baby Bookworm’s Top 5 Star Wars Books:

1. Star Wars: ABC-3PO, Galactic Basic Edition (Calliope Glass & Caitlin Kennedy)


Delightfully geeky, this ABC book presented by C-3PO, Human-Cyborg Relations, is filled with a plethora of classic and fan-favorite Star Wars characters. Every letter of the alphabet is given the Star Wars character treatment (A is for Ackbar, P is for Poe Dameron, Y is for Yoda, etc.) and accompanied by a hilariously tongue-in-cheek poem that will entertain fans young and old. Katie Cook’s renditions of the characters and set-pieces are an adorable treat. A great book for fans of all ages!

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


A perfect Star Wars primer for the brand-new youngling in your life. The Wangs use impressively handcrafted needle-felted wool figures in miniature sets to recreate some of the most timeless visuals from A New Hope, paired with simple, kid-friendly vocabulary words: “Princess” accompanies the iconic shot of Leia recording her message on R2-D2, “Captain” as Han Solo faces off against Greedo, “Heroes” as the team lines up across the stairs at the medal ceremony. With companion books for The Empire Strikes Back and Return Of The Jedi, these are a fun and unique way to introduce the tiniest padawan to the galaxy far, far away.

3. Star Wars: BB-8 On The Run (Drew Daywalt)


A wonderfully nuanced story that follows everyone’s favorite orange-and-white astromech. Taking place within the timeline of The Force Awakens, the story follows BB-8 as he is separated from his friend Poe and searching for a way off Jakku and back to the Resistance. Remembering that Poe had taught him that kindness will always come back to the one who shows it, he faces several opportunities in which he must decide to help others or pursue his own objectives. Matt Myers’s beautiful desert scenery provides a gorgeous backdrop for beloved Star Wars characters and creatures. It’s a story with a fantastic message about doing the right thing, even when it’s difficult, and perfect for young fans of BB-8.

4. Star Wars: I Am A Princess (Courtney Carbone)


One of our favorite books from the past year, and a frequent bedtime story at The Baby Bookworm household! Gorgeously illustrated and unapologetically feminist, this Little Golden Book defines a princess as clever, kind, brave and resourceful. Instead of waiting around to be rescued, Leia’s princesses are encouraged to take charge and lead others, being ambassadors of peace and the heroes of their own story. Heather Martinez’s colorful Star Wars scenes are captivating and exciting, and the message is one that every little reader can learn from: never underestimate the power of a princess.

5. 5-Minute Star Wars Stories (Disney-Lucasfilm)


A wonderful compendium that has something for every young padawan. We’ve had a chance to read the entire collection since our initial review, and we are really pleased with the quality of this storybook, which features eleven stories in total, drawn from the Star Wars cinematic films I-VII. While the stories are pretty sanitized for content and/or spoiler reasons, they maintain massive entertainment value through energetic visuals and a brisk five-minute per story pace. It’s a great way to introduce the ways of the Force to the uninitiated, or to share some favorite stories of the Star Wars universe with young fans.

That’s our list! Did we miss any of your favorites? Do you have a book about Star Wars you would like to recommend to us? Let us know in the comments, or message us from our Contact page. Thanks so much, and may the Force be with you!

Star Wars: BB-8 On The Run (Drew Daywalt)

Hello, friends! Our review today is Star Wars: BB-8 On The Run, written by Drew Daywalt and illustrated by Matt Myers, an adorable adventure featuring the lovable little droid learning the importance of kindness.

Taking place during The Force Awakens, the story follows BB-8 as he flees across the desert planet of Jakku after his friend Poe is taken prisoner. BB-8 has an important mission to complete, and he needs to get back to the Resistance. How can one little droid accomplish this when he is alone and afraid? BB-8 remembers something that Poe told him: being kind to others will always been returned to you. And as BB-8 tries to catch a ship off-planet, he keeps finding creatures and droids in need. So he keeps stopping to help – often with mixed results – making it less and less likely that he can catch his ride. Will BB-8’s kindness truly come back to him? Can he fulfill his mission and make Poe proud?

This one was WONDERFUL, especially for little Star Wars fans. The story is surprisingly nuanced: BB-8 struggles repeatedly with doing the right thing for others vs. doing the right thing for himself, but always chooses to help those in need. Near the end of the story, this actually leaves him disadvantaged – he’s missed the ship home and has been captured by a scavenger – and he wonders why doing the right thing left him even worse off than he’d started. But he is, of course, rescued by Rey in the final pages, picking up the movie narrative again and showing that being kind truly did come back to him. It’s a subtle and honest lesson in why we must be kind even when it’s hard to be. The art is lovely, capturing the Star Wars world and creatures in pleasantly desert-hued paintings. The length was best for toddler and up bookworms, and JJ adored seeing her pal BB-8 on every page. A lovely fable that does the Star Wars universe proud, and it’s Baby Bookworm approved!

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: I Am A Princess (Courtney Carbone)

Hello, friends! Okay, the Baby Bookworm family is all moved into our new home! There’s a lot of unpacking to do, but we’re hoping that we won’t be missing any more daily reviews for a while. And to come back strong, we’re reviewing a recent addition and new favorite to our home library, Star Wars: I Am A Princess, written by Courtney Carbone and illustrated by Heather Martinez, a wonderfully girl-power Star Wars spin on the classic princess storybook.

What makes a princess? What should a princess be? Leia is a princess, the daughter of a queen and a Jedi knight, and the adopted daughter of the Organa royal family. She’s clever, resourceful, brave and kind. She knows how to take charge, lead others, and protect the innocent. She’s an ambassador of peace, but knows when to take action and stand up to bullies. To Leia, being a princess means being a hero. How about you: are you ready to be a hero?

LOVE. THIS. I’m not sure you could pack more things we love into a book. A gorgeously illustrated, unapologetically feminist Star Wars book, a Little Golden Book to boot! It even cost us less than five dollars. I loved how the story encourages little ones to be princesses, but redefines the outdated notions of what a princess should be (no waiting around to be rescued by a prince for Leia’s princesses). The art is fantastic, capturing beloved Star Wars images and characters in a colorful and approachable way for little readers. The length is perfect, and JJ really likes this one, as do I. A wonderful addition to any little princess or padawan’s library, and we couldn’t recommend it more. Baby Bookworm approved!