Darth Vader and Son gives us a funny peek at Vader's hypothetical daddy side

See sample pages from this book at Wink.

Darth Vader and Son is cute, and perfect for the little Star Wars fan in your life. It playfully posits the question "What if Darth Vader had actually raised Luke?" Author and illustrator Jeffrey Brown turns run-of-the-mill parenting activities into fun moments full of Star Wars references.

This book isn't so much a story as it is a peek into the hypothetical everyday life of Vader and Luke. Every page of the book tells its own complete story of sorts. Some pages are miniature comics while others are full-page illustrations. Brown does an incredible job of telling his story in these single images. I imagine this book would be great for children just learning to read, similar to how the Owly books help develop a sense of story without the need for lines and lines of text. If you have a child that enjoys books but isn't yet able to read longer children's books with more words, Darth Vader and Son is a great compromise. At 64 pages it is long enough to be engaging for an extended period of time, but you can basically jump in and out of the book at any point.

Brown's art style is colorful and light, reminiscent of childhood crayon drawings. Darth Vader always looks slightly goofy, which goes a long way to establish the tone of the book. The drawings include a number of visual references to the Star Wars films that will delight anyone with the eye to catch them (and there's something on almost every page, so have fun looking for everything). Possibly the funniest parts are seeing Darth Vader engaged in totally mundane tasks like making breakfast or wrapping Luke's birthday present. It's a side to the character we've never had the opportunity to see, and Brown plays on the quirkiness perfectly. Overall, Darth Vader and Son is a fun read for adult Star Wars fans who like a good laugh, as well as for children just learning to love these characters. This book is actually the first in a series, so if you like it be sure to check out Vader's Little Princess, Goodnight Darth Vader, and Darth Vader and Friends.
– Alex Strine

Darth Vader and Son

by Jeffrey Brown

Chronicle Books

2012, 64 pages, 6.8 x 6.8 x 0.2 inches

Buy a copy on Amazon