I Wish I Had a Wookiee
Quirk Books, 2021
128pp., hbk., RRP $A34.99
The timing of writing this review is one of those serendipitous moments that seem to happen every now and then.
Looking at my growing pile of review books I closed my eyes and selected one at random and pulled out one I had looked at and rejected a few times because, not being a Star Wars fan, I had no idea what it was about. That was until a conversation around the breakfast table this morning when talk turned to favourite series and my family, being who they are, each had Star Wars at the top of their lists and Miss 10 declared she would like an AT-AT! “My response was, “Whatever that is…” and so I was informed.
So when this literally was a chance selection from the pile and the blurb says that, “In these pages you’ll meet a ten-year-old [the same age as my wishful thinker] who dreams of playing fetch with an AT-AT…” I knew it was meant to be.
But still being in the dark about such an alien world even though I am surrounded by its greatest fans, I will have to rely on the publisher’s blurb for the precis… “Inspired by the beloved world of Star Wars, and in the tradition of She; Silverstein’s Where the Sidewalk Ends, this collection of over 75 whimsical and original poems is a celebration of childhood, creativity, imagination, and the early years of Star Wars fandom.
In “My Pet AT-AT,” a ten-year-old dreams of playing hide and seek and fetch with an AT-AT. In “Dad’s Luke Skywalker Figurine,” a child opens their dad’s untouched action figure but, instead of getting into trouble, helps their dad re-discover his own sense of play. In “T-16 Dreams,” a little girl imagines herself flying through the galaxy, the Empire hot on her trail, to help with her real-world fear of flying.
Set in the hearts and minds of young children who love Star Wars, and filled with the characters you know and love, I Wish I Had a Wookiee is the perfect gift for the young Star Wars fan—and the young at heart”
Each poem is accompanied by a quirky illustration but as well as drawing on the familiar characters for the focus, many touch on issues important and relevant to the age group so they are more than just ditties. For example, A Galaxy of Families begins…
Stan’s mom and dad adopted Stan
And loved him totally
Like Bail and Breha welcomed Leia
To their family.
It continues with other less-than-traditional relationships highlighting the diverse nature of family units these days, each one resonating with a reader somewhere.
But the greatest recommendation is that from Miss 10, currently curled up reading the poems, having abandoned her phone’s screen and enjoying poetry for the first time. Usually, you take statements such as “the perfect gift” as publisher’s hype but in this case, it’s true. I could have given her nothing better.