Monday, May 2, 2016

Celebrate May the 4th with Star Wars Books for Kids

This Wednesday we'll be celebrating May the 4th because, as you have surely figured out if you follow MommyMaestra on Facebook, my kids are Star Wars nutso. (We waited 2 years for the last movie to come out and had tickets for it a month in advance.)

Anyhoo, I was looking around my house and it occurred to me that my son's literacy skills can be partly attributed to quite a few Star Wars books.

Have you ever heard a friend or teacher say, "Oh, read the book before you see the movie. It's way better!" Well, with my son, who was a reluctant reader initially, it is the exact opposite. Once he sees a movie and falls in love with the storyline and the characters, then he can't wait to read the books. And he will read them cover to cover. This has proven to be the case for several stories: How to Train Your Dragon, A Series of Unfortunate Events, and Star Wars.

So if you have a reluctant reader in your house, and he or she happens to love Star Wars, consider checking out these titles which are so much fun for little kids.

The Jedi Academy series by Jeffery Brown

My kids agree: this is the most hilarious set of Star Wars books ever. This trilogy follows Rowan, a young boy from Tatooine, who hopes to get into the fighter pilot academy, but instead is selected to attend the Jedi Academy. The series shares his typical ups and downs that any young student experiences at school. We discovered the books soon after the first one came out, and my son waited impatiently for each of the following titles to be published. The story is laid out in a graphic novel format, and the illustrations no doubt really make this book series work. I loved that the books inspired my son to practice drawing because he wanted to continue the story with his own illustrations and storyline. We also wound up buying the series journal and an assortment of notepads and notecards we found at Target.

And if your kids enjoy these books (and I know they will), then they'll also like some of Brown's other titles including Darth Vader and Friends, Good Night Darth Vader, Darth Vader and Son, and Vader's Little Princess.

The Origami Yoda series by Tom Angleberger

The best thing about this series, in my opinion anyway, is the creativity it inspires after kids finish reading. My son has made more origami in the past year than I've seen in my entire life. From Origami Yoda to Fortune Wookie, my kids went so far as to start looking up additional origami patterns online from Angleberger's website:

According to my son, this series is about a socially awkward kid who folds a magical origami Yoda. His friends are also a little strange and this paper Yoda tells them their fortune and helps them solve problems brought about by Darth Paper, a paper puppet controlled by the class bully. The series goes on from there. 

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