Although there's nothing consequential in this book, certainly nothing you don't already know, I do discuss details so this is your spoiler warning I suppose!
Besides Dave Filoni, no other single person is perhaps more intimate with the character Ahsoka Tano than actress/entrepreneur Ashley Eckstein. She has voiced the former Jedi since her very first Clone Wars appearance back in 2008, and you rarely see folks speaking of one without the other.
Theirs is a symbiotic relationship; with Ashley turning her love of the character and its success into a movement, inspiring young people all over the world to reach for the stars and that anything is possible. In short, Ashley is Ahsoka, and Ahsoka, is Ashley.
So, it should come as no surprise that when it came time to release an Ahsoka themed Little Golden Book, Ashley was the obvious choice to scribe it.
Here’s the publisher’s summary…
I Am a Padawan is a part of the Little Golden Book Star Wars® collections.
Meet Ahsoka Tano, a brave Jedi-in-training—also known as a Padawan—in this Star Wars Little Golden Book written by Ashley Eckstein!
This Little Golden Book follows the journey of Ahsoka Tano, a brave Padawan from the epic Star Wars space saga, as she learns the mysterious ways of the Force from her Jedi teachers Anakin Skywalker, Yoda, and Obi-Wan Kenobi. Written by Ashley Eckstein, the voice of Ahsoka Tano in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars: Rebels animated series, this beautifully-illustrated book is perfect for Star Wars—and Little Golden Book—fans of all ages!
“The Force is strong with Ahsoka Tano”
Written by Eckstein (“By Whatever Sun”) and illustrated by Shane Clester (no stranger to Golden Books), “I Am a Padawan” is the 30th Star Wars Golden Book published by Random House, who have held the rights since 2001.
Primarily for young readers, “I Am a Padawan” is a canon book that introduces you to the Togrutan who adopted the moniker “Snips” and gives you a loose account of her life up to leaving the Jedi Order. Told from someone else’s perspective, we learn what it takes to be a successful Padawan through the personal experiences of Tano.
You’ll see certain key words and phrases in bold, letting you know the not-so-hidden messages that permeate though this book. Simple mantras and life-lessons that will help most any young person navigate their early years, on their way to becoming a caring and thoughtful human being.
That “you can do it” positive messaging is part and parcel for Eckstein who, and I can speak from experience, radiates charisma and charm. It’s almost impossible to not feel her warmth and kindness as it envelopes you completely, and while it may be a cliché, she lights up any room she’s in.
And therein lays the not so furtive approach of this book, its secret weapon if you will. If you’ve met or seen Ashley at a panel, then you’ll understand one simple thing, she says what she means, and she means what she says. She doesn’t put in writing “a Padawan should always have hope, no matter how dark things seem” because she doesn’t believe it, she does. She believes it, because she lives it. And when you understand that much about Ashley, this book becomes more than just attractive clichés or hooky platitudes; it becomes a collection of well-meaning truisms, good enough for any youngster.
But, it’s still a Star Wars book so expect many of the familiar axioms and vernacular we all know so well. You’ll hear about lightsabers and the Force, and you’ll see familiar faces such as Obi-Wan Kenobi, Yoda, and of course Anakin Skywalker. But the life of a Padawan isn’t always met by friendly faces, so Ashley intertwines messages of bravery and helping others with encountering menacing figures such as General Grievous and Aurra Sing.
Shane Clester’s art is simple and very effective. Like I said earlier, he’s no stranger to Golden Books, having illustrated several of them, so it strikes the right balance between fantasy and cartoonish. It's clear his style is perfectly suited for this kind of content.
Like all Golden Books its compact and has a low page count (24 pages), but priced at $4.99, you really can’t go wrong.
So, in the end, after learning a little bit about what it takes to be a Jedi, you are asked one simple question…
“Are you ready to become a Padawan?”
If you are, click HERE and order a copy today!
“Star Wars: I Am a Padawan” is published by Random House and goes on sale April 7th!
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