Skip to main content

Star Wars Epic Yarns: A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back & Return of the Jedi by Jack and Holman Wang



Of course there is a specific market for Star Wars: Epic Yarns, the trilogy of books by twins Jack and Holman Wang, creators of Cozy Classics. However, this happens to be a very large market - one that has raised their children and grandchildren with these movies as part of their lives. Why am I reviewing these books? I was one of those people who stood in line, more than once, as a child to see Star Wars and have my universe expanded. My daughter was four years old when she saw the trilogy, released in theaters again in celebration of the 20th anniversary. It was a part of my childhood that was exciting to share with my first born. 11 years later when my third child was born, I was pretty much over it. Of course, I had sat through the prequel trilogy by then and was kind of over it. Although I did get a kick out of the mini-versions of scenes from the film created for Legoland.



However, I am really, truly impressed with what Jack and Holman Wang have done with the three books in Star Wars: Epic Yarns. First of all, the art of felting has always impressed and mystified me. Happily, there is a video and article, The Process of Felting the Force, on this process, both of which are fascinating. Secondly, with Star Wars: Epic Yarns, the Wangs present twelve scenes from each movie accompanied by a single, defining word for each scene. Together, these twelve words and scenes tell the stories.  Star Wars: Epic Yarns: A New Hope is comprised of these twelve words: princess, trouble, boy, learn, captain, space, help, garbage, swing, duel, fly and heroes. The nifty thing about these books being so concisely minimal is that parents will be inspired to fill in the gaps and tell the story in their own words. The other really lovely thing about these books is the felting. It softens everything, the black dots for eyes on the characters adding another layer of gentleness to the scenes.


Jack and Holman Wang's Cozy Classics is the name of the series of board books they published prior to teaming up with Chronicle Books to publish Star Wars: Epic Yarns. Chronicle will be reissuing the original Cozy Classics (see below) and three new titles: Great Expectations, The Nutcracker and The Wizard of Oz! If you have read this far and this whole thing still sounds absurd to you, I urge you to read what Jack and Holman Wang themselves say about their books, which I think is pretty cool:

We want to be clear about one thing: Cozy Classics are not intended to provide babies with any kind of academic leg up. Our books are not meant to help you fast-track your toddler to Harvard! Unfortunately, in the minds of many, classics are associated with academics, but no classic was written for the classroom; every one was written to give pleasure. We prefer to get away from the classroom and have kids grow up thinking of The Great Books as great fun.
We hope that Cozy Classics—along with a vast army of other books—will help parents create a fun “literacy-rich environment” that will pave the way for success with reading. If parents present one of our word primers to their children with just that little extra bit of enthusiasm because they are sharing a story or characters they love themselves, then we will have done our tiny part in helping parents model an engaged and affectionate relationship with books.









The Wang brothers created the GOOGLE DOODLE for February 7, 2015, celebrating Laura Ingalls Wilder's 148th birthday!



The Cozy Classics!





















Source: Review Copies



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Made by Dad: 67 Blueprints for Making Cool Stuff - Projects You Can Build For (and With) Kids! by Scott Bedford

On his personal website, Scott Bedforddescribes himself as an "Award Winning Online Creative Professional" working within the advertising and design industry. What is more interesting (and applicable here) is how hisWhat I Made website came to be. While sitting in a Starbucks with his restless young sons, trying to enjoy his latte, Bedford created something out of coffee stir sticks that ended up keeping his boys entertained, finishing his coffee in peace and sparking (re-sparking, really) his creative drive and reminding him of the "enormous joy gained from making things, even simple things, and that this joy is not the complexity or quality of the finished project but in the process of making itself. On Bedford'sWhat I Made website, he even shares Six Cool Coffee Shop Crafts for Kidsthat you can try out next time you want to enjoy your coffee and your kids are making that difficult. I've shared two below - be sure to check out the website and see the rest!

Be…

POP-UP: Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book, paper engineering by Ruth Wickings, illustrations by Frances Castle RL: All ages

POP-UP:  Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book with paper engineering by Ruth Wickings and illustrations by Frances Castle is THE COOLEST BOOK EVER!!!  I know that I haven't dedicated much time to pop-up books here, but they have always held a special place in my heart, and the phrase "paper engineering" is a favorite of mine. Although I didn't know what it was at the time, I did go through a paper engineering phase when I was ten or so. I would sneak off to the back of the classroom during independent work periods and go to town on the construction paper and glue and make these little free-standing dioramas. A huge fan of The Muppet Show (the original), I reconstructed the all-baby orchestra from an episode, drawing and coloring each baby and his/her instrument then gluing them onto a 3D orchestra section I had crafted out of brown construction paper.  I also made a 3D version of Snidely Whiplash throwing Nell off a cliff with Dudley Do-Right wa…

How to Choose Age Appropriate Books for Advanced Readers

How to Choose Age Appropriate Books for Advanced Readers remains the most read post on my blog since I wrote it in 2012. Because of this, I have cleaned up this post, tightened the writing and added in any pertinent information that has come about since it originally ran. When I first started books4yourkids.com in August of 2008, I was scrambling for content, finding my purpose and my voice and not always doing my best writing. How to Choose Age Appropriate Books for Advanced Readers was one of the first articles I wrote and, as a bookseller and a book reviewer, and now as an elementary school librarian where I have gone from working with kids reading well beyond their grade level to kids reading well below, this philosophy remains my organizing principle and central focus when reading and recommending books to parents and children. 

In the interest of my mission and the attention this article continues to receive, I have updated and expanded this article and included a guide to using …