Written by twin brothers in British Columbia, Canada, Jack and Holman Wang, Star Wars: Epic Yarns, a trilogy of board books for beginning word learners, is filled with spreads of painstakingly-made photos on one side and single words on the other. Meant to teach some basic words to young children in a fun way, the books also retell each story of the original trilogy in a minimalist style.
The photos include characters made out of felt (needle felting, to be precise) in exact 7:1 scale, along with scenes and sets made by the creator duo. You will find yourself studying the photos in each book, always finding a new detail you missed the last time. They did such a magnificent job re-creating the scenes that you might do a double-take, thinking they photographed life-size figures on the actual Star Wars sets.
If you know anything about needle felting, you’ll know just how much work was put into these figures. And if you’re the type to want to know exactly just how things are made, check out this official behind-the-scenes video. You’ll be amazed at how much detail went into each shot, between the characters, the sets, and the location shots. The intricate details can be often lost at first glance, but for those who appreciate fine, intricate work, these books have it.
Past the epic craft skill required to make these books a reality, one thing I love about this series is that the basic primer words they used on each page aren’t all your typical board book vocabulary. Words like “duel” and “foe” and “droids” and “lightsaber” sure didn’t show up in my Richard Scarry books.
The books contain so many of the characters in the movies, from the obvious Luke and Leia, to Boba Fett and the Ewoks, to Jabba the Hutt and a tauntaun, to Lando and a rather angry looking C3-PO. Kids can choose their favorites, and enjoy seeing them in different scenes.
If you read these books to your kids, or have your kids read them to you, spoilers will abound. Obviously. But if you don’t mind spoilers, or if you’ve shown your kids the Star Wars movies before they were old enough to read, this won’t be a problem. Each book contains 12 pages of prime storytelling and fantasy.
The Star Wars: Epic Yarns books are fantastic for any Star Wars fan, from the youngest just learning to read, to those who collect All Things Star Wars. I adore them.
Note: I received copies of these books for review purposes.