Star Wars: Are You Scared, Darth Vader?

Star Wars: Are You Scared, Darth Vader? illus. by Adam Rex. 48p. Disney-Hyperion. Jul. 2018. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781484704974.
PreS-Gr 2—A parade of vampires, ghosts, and other creatures do not scare Darth Vader, but something does! When costumes are removed, revealing a group of kids ready for some rowdy play, Darth Vader is finally unnerved. In a particularly hilarious illustration, children swarm him as he yells out, "I AM MOST DISPLEASED." A small girl raises her fist in the air and stomps as she mimics him, one girl makes googly eyes, and a diaper-clad baby with pacifier gets in on the action. In a final desperate meta-scene, Vader experiences real fear. Is the book about to close? With his typical offbeat humor, Rex notes that the illustrations were created in Photoshop and then superimposed on a swamp created with "paper, clay, paint, moss, glue, sticks, stones, foam, sponge, and schmutz." The result is appropriately dark and textured with the children adding lightness and whimsy. The several double-spread illustrations are especially captivating. The font varies. Darth Vader speaks in black word bubbles with a white font; the kids in the opposite. The narrator converses directly with Darth Vader, his words in a bold and bright yellow, "Are you afraid of spiders? No. Black cats? No. Public speaking? No. The dark? Is that a joke?" Star Wars references abound and will delight fans; non-fans will appreciate the quirky humor.
VERDICT Perfect for Halloween collections and beyond, no library will want to be without this humorous addition to the Star Wars collection.

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