Last week three new Star Wars Little Golden Books arrived on store shelves: I Am A Droid, I Am A Jedi, and I Am A Pilot. I read a great review by Star Wars Kid Cast and ordered them. I’m so glad I did.
My 5 year-old son is the main audience for these books in my house, and he has asked to read at least one of the books each day since they arrived. His favorite of the three is the I Am A Droid followed by I Am A Jedi. I asked him why he liked these two the best and he said because they have his favorite characters in them: BB-8, R2-D2, C-3PO, and Yoda. When I read to him, he gets so excited by each book’s explanation of so many characters and aspects of the Star Wars films that at times get over looked in books for the younger crowd. The books are almost like little encyclopedias for kids 6 and under. Now I catch him discussing things from the books with his 10 year-old sister as they play Star Wars Disney Infinity or watch the Star Wars movies. He is making connections that he didn’t previously because he now understands Star Wars in a way he didn’t before. This series has brought my son more than just the fun of reading with mom, it has opened his eyes to another area of interest beyond just super heroes. He enjoyed the books so much he says he would tell his friends to read them. I’m so happy that my son is loving this series and is getting more out of each book than I expected. Though I found even more points to lead me to recommend the Star Wars: I AM series beyond my son’s enjoyment
As a parent, I have found a few distinct things about these books that stand out and make them a great pick for young readers. First thing to catch my eye is how each book distinguishes key words and terminology. These words are in a different color print and at times even a different font or size. By doing this, the illustrator has created instant sight words for children that are learning to read. I point to these words as my son and I read and I have him read them to me. Another thing is that by making these words stand out, it introduces readers to how some school textbooks are designed where important information is highlighted. Being exposed to this strategy will hopefully help kids learn to successfully navigate school books sooner. Next thing to stand out is how simple most of the words used are. Many of them can be found on 1st grade word lists; which takes this book from a read-aloud to those 5 and under to an early reader for 1st graders. Also, many of the sentence patterns are repeated which assists early readers in learning words. Finally, each book has a limited amount of words on a page. I found that fewer words combined with entertaining illustrations held my son’s interest longer. In addition, it prompted him to ask more questions about the pictures to gather more information. From a parent’s perspective, the Star Wars: I Am series is a fantastic choice to introduce little ones to reading skills that they will use later in school all while learning more about one the biggest fandoms in the world.
This Little Golden Book series has proved to be more than just another entertaining story book collection. Yoda says “Size matters not” and these little books prove that they have more to offer than their size may lead you to believe.