Everyone’s favorite Force Awakens droid gets his own picture-book prequel, and he does a slew of good deeds.
Daywalt, author of The Day the Crayons Quit, chronicles the trials of BB-8 as he makes his way across the desert planet of Jakku. After an explosion in the town of Tuanul, BB-8’s separated from pilot Poe, who’s given BB-8 a map to find Luke Skywalker. Now it is up to the droid to get the map to the Resistance. BB-8’s scared, but he remembers what Poe told him: “You do good things, and good things will come back to you.” When BB-8 comes upon Teedo, whose luggabeast is stuck, BB-8 tries to help…but it’s a trap. In captivity, BB-8 meets F3-ZK, who goes by “Fez,” and the two hatch a plot to escape. Once free, the two are separated in an attack by steelpeckers. To complete his mission, BB-8 wants to get to Fez’s spaceship before it leaves, but he stops to help a scavenger family and a wounded happabore. Teedo reappears just as Fez and BB-8 are boarding the ship, and BB-8 distracts Teedo so Fez can escape. What about Poe’s words of wisdom? Happily, a young woman appears and saves him…the adventure’s just beginning. Daywalt’s clearly told story, long on event if short on flair, and Myers’ paintings (with digitally added special effects) mesh well enough.
Young Padawans will be over Endor to get a bit of background on the endearing BB-8, but the story’s unlikely to reach beyond that admittedly huge audience. (Picture book. 4-8)