Carl learns the linguistics of astromech to review the charming new Star Wars communication manual from Chronicle Books
Here’s the thing. Most of the books I’m asked to read and review are mostly aimed at the adult market. There are a few that sit firmly in the middle, in between Young Adult and Adult. But then, on occasion, I’m asked to take a look at books that are aimed firmly at the young ones, the children among us. I don’t ever refuse to look and read these books when asked as sometimes, a children’s book can quite easily be more fun and better than some adult volumes! And when it happens to be a ‘Star Wars‘ title, then it gives me even more incentive to open the pages and take a look. So when ‘How To Speak Astromech With BB-8: A Communication Manual‘ was handed to me and I noticed that at the bottom of it, an electronic BB-8 that made sounds when prompted to press its buttons during the book, I had a huge grin on my face. Yes, ok, I admit I do get enjoyment out of pressing buttons and making things emit noises, and here is no different! I’m a big kid! I admit it without shame!
Star Wars: How To Speak Astromech With BB-8: A Communication Manual | Chronicle Books
The book itself is a nice little timewaster that will entertain and bring joy to young minds (as well as this 50-year-olds!) and will keep them enthralled for hours. It has great readability and is perfect for parents to read and entertain their little ones at bedtime with the story that is contained within alongside the noises that the book will utter once the buttons are pushed. The front cover boasts a neat little illustration of BB-8 against a black, star-filled background. The back cover has the same illustration on a smaller scale but with the bonus of having D-O join him alongside a helpful explanation of what will be discovered inside. We open the cover and find a congratulations message regarding our purchase of a BB-model astromech droid. We turn the page and find the first page full of illustrations depicting the desert of Jakku and the character of Rey and other characters that appear in the scenes in this world.
Over the page, we go and find BB-8 alongside Finn and Chewbacca sitting outside the Millenium Falcon while BB-8 helps toast some marshmallows for the two characters. Next up with have BB-8 fending off Salacious Crumb and several of his friends who are attacking him and a droid friend. We turn over and meet Poe in his flight suit watching as BB-8 jetwashes his X-Wing fighter. We follow this up with a wonderful illustration of BB-8 screening the original ‘Star Wars‘ film, ‘A New Hope‘ for the assembled C-3PO, Admiral Holdo, Admiral Ackbar, Han Solo, Nien Numb, and General Leia Organa while R2-D2 provides the sound via two speakers attached to either side of his dome.
We now encounter Maz Kanata’s castle and join in the fun as Han and Chewie engage in a game of Sabaac with a few of the gathered patrons. Across the page, we find Finn, Rose, and Captain Phasma onboard a First Order Star Destroyer while a couple of First Order Stormtroopers scramble. Next, we have BB-8 and Finn holding on for dear life aboard the Falcon as it appears to fly upside down. We now come face to face with a masked Kylo Ren, Captain Phasma, and General Hux again onboard a Star Destroyer along with BB-9E before we reach the final page and a wonderful illustration of BB-8 and D-O together and as close as friends can be. Each page has a number and this corresponds with the buttons contained on the BB-8 model that resides at the right-hand bottom corner which once pressed delivers the sounds to bring further joy from the book.
The words in the book are by I.M Rollin (Seriously!) with the wonderful illustrations by British artist JAKe and the book is a marvelous way of entertaining a child at bedtime. With the words, illustrations, and noises the book contains, they will get the maximum amount of enjoyment out of what they will discover inside the pages and will make bedtime that much more rewarding for them. And who knows? Perhaps if dad is a Star Wars fan, he will get involved in the fun and also get enjoyment from this charming and innocent children’s book himself. Why not roll down to the local bookstore and pick up a copy!
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Carl Roberts is a Senior Entertainment/Books and Literature Correspondent for The Future of the Force. Aside from being our horror genre aficionado, he is also passionate about Star Wars, Marvel, DC, and the Indiana Jones movies. Follow him on Twitter @CarlRoberts2 where he uses the force frequently!
Editors Note | A big thank you to our friends at Chronicle Books for sending over our advance review copy.