According to Origami Yoda “tests do not make one great”, but at McQuarrie Middle School, preparation for standardised testing is in full swing and the Origami Rebel Alliance is in uproar. They do not want to see more episodes of FunTime featuring the dreaded Professor FunTime (who is not fun at all). Preparation for testing is taking up all their time, leaving no room for any other educational, but fun activities. They believe that the forces of standardised testing, and the commercial entity that creates the FunTime program, are on the Dark Side.
Can the Rebels trust Principal Rabbski? Is she their only hope? The Rebels plead their case for rescue through a series of connected stories which make up a ‘case file’ which is mysteriously leaked to Principal Rabbski along with a Princess Labelmaker puppet.
At the book’s conclusion there are step-by-step instructions, with diagrams, for how to create an origami Princess Leia (with or without hair bun, depending on your preference) and Luke Skywalker (don’t forget to finish decorating by adding a lightsaber). Enthusiastic readers looking for more paper-folding inspiration will likely find some at the official Origami Yoda website, and can also watch Origami Yoda instructional videos on YouTube.
The use of little drawings throughout the books is, I think, one of the secrets of their success. They add a fun, cartoon-style element, and as one section of this particular book cleverly explains, a story is not just about words. The message that “Comic books are books!” is something that will appeal to less avid readers in particular, although just about anyone can enjoy the Origami Yoda series.
For more Tom Angleberger Origama Yoda fun, see KBR's review of Art2-D2's Guide to Folding and Doodling here.
Title: Princess Labelmaker to the Rescue
Author: Tom Angleberger
Publisher: Abrams, $11.95 RRP
Publication Date: March 2014
For ages: 8-12
Type: Junior fiction