Star Wars fans who have found themselves in the care of young padawans have found the book they're looking for in Star Wars ABC-3PO. Like most alphabet books for preschoolers, this one assigns a character from the saga to each letter. With adorable artwork to correspond to each page, a poem also accompanies each letter that gives kids more information on each character. It's a happy medium for kids too young to watch the films, but who are still interested in the characters and world of Star Wars.
The artwork is done in a cute, stylized way that somewhat resembles the work of Mary Blaire. The poems take on different styles, from Dr. Seuss to Goodnight Moon. What surprised me the most about the text is that much of it is very humorous, especially for adult Star Wars fans who know these characters inside and out. Of particular brilliance is the fact that Han Solo comes alphabetically after Gredo, with both characters facing off from opposite pages and poems that complete the story when read back-to-back.
With a universe as expansive as Star Wars, the authors had quite a few choices for each letter and they didn't always go with the most kid friendly or obvious choice. For example, I would have assumed that BB-8 would be the character assigned to "B" since toddlers love the round droid. While he appears in the book several times, Boba Fett claims the second letter.
Star Wars purists will also be happy to discover that the book mostly stays focused on the original trilogy. The only character from the prequels is Qui-Gon Jin for "Q" (in case you were worried, "J" is for Jabba, not Jar Jar). Only five of the twenty-six letters are specific to The Force Awakens and one is exclusively Star Wars: Rebels ("Z" is for Zedd). That means nineteen letters are either saga generic or specific to the films made between 1977 and 1983.
Star Wars ABC-3PO is a fun childrens book that adults will love reading to their kids just as much as their kids will love learning about Star Wars. Among the final pages is an alphabet grid with pictures of the corresponding characters that can be used to help associate the alphabet letter with the characters and sounds their name makes. It's not only a useful learning tool, but a really fun bedtime story.