Ahsoka Tano for kids

Star Wars: The Clone Wars fans know Aksoka Tano as the likeable orange-skinned protege of Anakin Skywalker.  She`s  also the star of a children`s book with the strangely sixties-sounding title  Meet Ahsoka Tano, by Kirsten Mayer ( part of a CW  series published by Grosset and Dunlap).  The paperback is recommended for ages 4-8, although the reading level seems to be slanted more toward the older edge of that spectrum, about third grade.  It`s told in the first person, from Ahsoka`s point of view, and includes two short adventures: the Battle of Teth from the Clone Wars film and the “Rising Malevolence” show episode, in which the feisty Padawan must rescue her first master, the insect like Plo Koon.

Obviously a book like this isn`t going to have the detail of a Star Wars novel for adults. But it does a good job of relating the story, and Ahsoka`s youthful exuberance (“My first Jedi mission was a success! I jumped in the air and whooped”) and stubborn moments are   captured nicely.  The illustrations are  gorgeous. They are lifted from the frames of the episodes, which some may dismiss as a rip-off, but it works and it`s kind of neat to have  the vivid, quasi-3D look of CW at your fingertips.  I think things like this are important because they can entertain very young fans who may end up having an interest in the Star Wars books and visual media, as well as science fiction in general.  Also, a kids` book  about a female hero is empowering.  I know that at age 7  or 8 I would have been thrilled to find  a paperback all about Princess Leia or Wonder Woman.   Meet Ahsoka Tano is a fun little work, and discovering it  has motivated me to re-view Season 1 of Clone Wars, as well as  read some of the John Ostrander comics. It`s also a joy to watch her prowess with a light saber on the “Famous Battles” disc that came with my nephew`s  saber!

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