My daughter watched A New Hope for the first time last week and the experience was just as magical as I had hoped it would be. I wasn’t sure she would understand everything that was happening in the film, but in the end it didn’t matter because she loved every minute of that epic space adventure. I think part of the reason she enjoyed the movie so much is because she knew most of the characters from reading Star Wars books.

Even though our home is filled with Star Wars action figures and artwork, it’s the books that have shown her how Luke Skywalker became a Jedi Knight, why Wookiees have hearts of gold, and why Princess/General Leia is a fearless leader. Nowadays there are so many great Star Wars books for kids, but I wanted to share some of the stories that both my daughter and I are enjoying right now. So whether you’re looking for a gift for a young fan, or wanting a new bedtime story to read to your Padawan, here are a few of our favorite Star Wars books for kids!

STAR WARS BLOCK: Over 100 Words Every Fan Should Know by Lucasfilm & Peskimo: The beautiful illustrations in this board book make it enjoyable for kids of all ages to flip through. The book features characters, vehicles, and planets from the prequels to the sequels, and even includes characters like Jyn Erso and Cassian Andor from Rogue One. Many of the pages are die-cut, which makes the book engaging and fun to touch, especially for toddlers and preschoolers. My daughter particularly loves the Jabba the Hutt Throne Room page, where you can flip the page down to reveal the menacing Rancor beneath the trap door. While the book doesn’t tell a story with words, many of the illustrations depict specific moments from the Star Wars films. It has been fun to explain these scenes to my 4 year old. But best of all, my daughter loves looking at the pictures and learning the names of all the weird and wonderful characters in the Star Wars universe.

I AM A HERO (STAR WARS) by Golden Books: As a fan of Little Golden Books, I was thrilled when they started publishing Star Wars stories for younglings. In addition to their books that retell the saga stories, their “I Am…” series is a great introduction to the heroes and villains of the galaxy. I Am A Hero shares the many ways one can be a hero—whether it’s in Star Wars or in our world. The illustrations show characters like Rey, Luke, Obi-Wan, and more, exemplifying noble qualities like selfishness, helpfulness, and kindness. The book uses simple language and short sentences which makes it great for younger kids or early readers. But the reason I like this book so much is because it reinforces the message that no matter your size, age, or species, anyone can be a hero.

I AM A PRINCESS (STAR WARS) by Golden Books: This is another book I love from the “I Am…Star Wars series. My daughter recently has become Disney princess obsessed. I’m grateful characters like Princess Tiana, Mulan, Anna, and Elsa exist and I want to continue to expose Lucia to self-rescuing princesses who are leaders and help others. I Am A Princess does just that—it uses the character of Leia to show how a princess can be an ambassador of peace, fearless in the face of danger, and take actions to help others. Thanks to this book, and the Forces of Destiny series, my daughter has become a real fan of Princess Leia. And technically, now that Disney owns Lucasfilm, Leia is a Disney princess in our household.

OBI-123: A Book of Numbers by Calliope Glass & Caitlin Kennedy: Rhyming books are always great for kids, especially when it comes to learning how to count. Obi-123 teaches the numbers 1-20 through poems about Star Wars characters and vehicles. The book also features adorable and vibrant illustrations by artist Katie Cook. Younger kids will enjoy the colorful pictures and rhyming aspect of the stories, while preschoolers and kindergarteners can practice counting the AT-ATs on Hoth or patrons in Maz Kanata’s castle.

CHEWIE AND THE PORGS by Kevin Shinick: This sweet story about Chewbacca befriending a group of porgs quickly became a family favorite of ours. My daughter is too young to watch The Last Jedi but she knows all about those adorable Ahch-To birds, thanks to a giant stuffed porg she saw at Target last year. She also happened to see The Last Jedi trailer that featured the porg on the Millennium Falcon and immediately became hungry for more porg content. Thankfully, Chewie and the Porgs satiated that desire! The story is about Chewbacca and Rey who arrive on the planet Ahch-To. Chewie soon becomes annoyed by a pesky group of porgs who won’t leave him (or his things) alone. He doesn’t know how to solve his porg problem until he asks for help from the Caretakers on the island. What I love most about this book is how it emphasizes the importance of sharing and helping others. The illustrations by Fiona Hsieh are beautiful and whimsical, and if the pages weren’t bound, I’d frame them all!

GOODNIGHT DARTH VADER by Jeffrey Brown: If you’re a Star Wars fan, chances are you’ve seen Jeffrey Brown’s artwork. His books Darth Vader and Son and Vader’s Little Princess showcase Darth Vader’s parenting skills, or lack thereof. Those two books feature cute, comic strip-style illustrations instead of a traditional story, and are fun for Star Wars fans of all ages to browse through. My daughter loved Vader’s Little Princess when she was younger and enjoyed looking at the pictures while I narrated what was happening in them. But what I like about Goodnight Darth Vader is that it combines Jeffrey Brown’s signature style with a sweet and humorous bedtime story. The book’s rhyming structure is simple, which makes it an easy read before bedtime. I also love that the story shows how the various characters in the galaxy get ready to sleep. I mean, who hasn’t wondered what Jar Jar’s bedtime routine is or where Wookiees go night-night?

What are some of your favorite Star Wars books for kids? I’d love to hear them in the comments below!

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