Is It Worth Giving George Lucas More Money Just So Your Kids Can Learn To Read Good? Yes…Yes It Is.
Last week I went to our school’s Fall open house with my big guy. We did the running tour of the school, fighting the crowds through the classroom, the gym, the art room, the music room, the gym again, and finally the lunch room. Why did we end up back in the gym? Well, that’s where they were doing the Scholastic book fair, of course! It was a portrait of chaos. A few dozen parents were getting whipped around the aisles, dragged along by a swarm of hyper kiddos.
I didn’t get sucked in right away. I cut a deal early. “One book, any book…you pick,” I told my little dude. He was jumping in place, but he heard me. Thank goodness. When I cut him loose, he did exactly what I hoped he’d do – he dashed right for the Star Wars shelf. He shocked me when he came right back holding Star Wars ABC, the book you see in the title image. Apparently he already knew what he wanted me to get. By this point, I suspected the school had toured the kids through the book sale earlier in the day. It was either that or he just liked the robots on the cover.
I wanted to make sure he was sure of his choice, so I took him through all the aisles. “Do you want that one? What about this one?” It was no use; he was locked in to his choice. It turns out that the book he picked is an amazing book that I recommend to anyone with young readers. Let me tell you why you should hand over some of your hard-earned cash to George Lucas, the guy who’s about to squeeze another victory lap out of films that he made around 30 years ago (ho-lee whaaaa?).
This book has a lot going for it. First of all, it’s a great variation on an ABC book. If I see one more Q is for…QUILT! book, I’m likely to die from acute eye-rolling. And it’s Star Wars, right? Who doesn’t want to pre-program that flavor of geek into their kids at a very young age? The next thing that’s great about this book (and where some ABC books fail) is that it’s a “board book,” meaning that it’s got sturdy cardboard pages. If you’re starting alphabet sounds early, or if you have a younger sibling around, you don’t have to worry about page-ripping or slobber as much with a board book.
So what else? This book actually suits a variety of reading levels. The letters on the inside are each displayed on their own page, and usually with a photo of a prominent character in the film series. If your reader is only doing alphabet sounds, you can just read the book at this level.
Going one level up from that, the name of the character in the photo is displayed beneath the alphabet letter in big bold text. If your reader is capable of getting through some early reading material, they can just read these names and move through the book quickly enough not to get discouraged.
The next and final level up is reading a short descriptive sentence about the character. These are included in smaller text at the bottom of each page. They are basic equational sentences like: “R2-D2 is a clever robot.” Nothing too complicated. One thing that I really liked in these sentence is that they recycle the letter sound at least once inside the sentence itself, and sometimes using its variate sound. An example of this from the book is “Luke is a legendary Jedi” or “Obi-Wan is training the Chosen One.” You see what they did there?
So why should you fork over cover price for Star Wars ABC, when you know that the authors are probably getting about twelve cents of it, and Lucas is soaking up 90% of the royalties? This book is a solid ABC book, with a lot of versatility and reusability. I’m not saying Lucas deserves it, but your kids sure do.
Available at Amazon.com, or ask about it at your local library!