Y’all remember Little Golden Books, right? I’m sure most of us (and our parents!) had them in our wee children’s libraries, from The Poky Little Puppy to various Walt Disney titles like Mary Poppins and Bambi, or Winnie the Pooh and Sesame Street stories. And they were built to last – I bet at least some of you still have your childhood copies around somewhere.
The books themselves weren’t the only things built to last – from their origins as beautiful and quality books for very low prices, the Little Golden Books formula is a storytelling medium that has lasted over 70 years – and is still going strong.
To the delight of my Star Wars-loving heart, Little Golden Books and Disney developed and released Little Golden Books for each of the main films last year: you can now get The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, Revenge of the Sith, A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi in Little Golden Book form. And they are a DELIGHT.
Thanks to Entertainment Earth, I have a copy to review AND to give away – so make sure you enter to win at the end of this review!
Just as you’d expect from Little Golden Books, each book has a sturdy cardboard cover. The copies I have feature some slight chipping near the spine on a few titles, but overall feel very sturdy. The pages are on pleasingly heavy paper, and brightly printed with the charmingly retro illustrations. As is customary with Little Golden Books, the spines are covered with printed golden foil paper – these featuring Star Wars symbols from Darth Vader’s helmet to C3PO’s head to R2-D2. The library comes in a medium-grade card stock slipcover.
Most of the stories are adapted for the Little Golden Books by Geof Smith (who has several children’s book credits to his name) – with the exception of The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones, which are adapted by Courtney Carbone and Christopher Nicholas respectively. (As a point of interest, The Phantom Menace is the only volume featuring women as writer and illustrator; all other volumes were adapted and illustrated by men.) Each volume is illustrated by a different artist, and so the entire series features work by Heather Martinez, Ethen Beavers, Patrick Spaziante, Caleb Meurer, Micky Rose, Chris Kennett, and Ron Cohee. These artists range from freelance illustrators to Disney artists to comic book artists to SpongeBob SquarePants and American Dad! cartoonists.
These Star Wars titles are more Little Golden Books in form rather than function – these are NOT easy readers that little kids can start on their own. Each book is full of big words and some complicated concepts (e.g., crime lords, bounty hunters). And while the stories are pared down to their bones with the more evil or awful bits left out or glossed over, they’re still complicated narratives. These books are best for parent and child to read together, and the illustrations provide opportunities for learning words (like barge!) and funny moments (e.g., Chewbacca eating what may be a chicken leg in an Ewok trap).
The illustrations are all great quality, and brightly contemporary while still being reminiscent of classic Little Golden Book art. (My favorite overall has to be Ron Cohee’s art in Return of the Jedi, with a nod to Caleb Meurer and Micky Rose having the best ship illustrations in A New Hope).
In all, I call the Star Wars: Little Golden Book Library a worthy addition to the tiny geek’s bookshelf that will provide fun bonding activity for parents and kids. You can order it from Entertainment Earth over this-away, AND I’m giving away my (gently read) copy below!
I’m giving away the review copy provided to me by Entertainment Earth. This copy has been gently read, with some very mild chipping in a few of the covers (see above about cover quality). Limited to the US and Canada due to postage cost; see below for other disclaimers.
Disclaimers: By entering this contest you agree to allow up to 12 weeks for delivery, accept the fate of packages getting lost, stolen or damaged (neither Entertainment Earth nor the host of the contest are responsible for replacement or compensation either in product, credit or currency) and a correct, valid physical address must be provided (wrong address provided, unfortunately no shipment).