From the 1930s onward, Dick and Jane books taught children to read by utilizing simple words, basic illustrations, and lots and lots of repetition.  But what would happen if this format was used on the original Star Trek television series?  Fun with Kirk and Spock by Robb Pearlman parodies the show's adventures and characters with the same simplistic format as those early readers -- and it's fairly funny.

The tone of Fun with Kirk and Spock is set at the opening, with the book's take on the show' famous opening split infinitive: "See the Enterprise.  See the Enterprise go boldly.  Go go go, Enterprise!  Go boldly!"  From there, we get similar child-like takes on all the major characters: Spock is no fun, Kirk is a great fighter and lover, and so on.  There are also brief versions of key episodes of the show (the cover references "Space Seed") and tropes of the show.  ("See the crewman.  What is the crewman's name?  It does not matter.  Why does it not matter?  He is wearing a red shirt.  It is best not to get too attached.")

Fun with Kirk and Spock is largely a one-joke book, but it's a funny one-joke book -- if you're a fan of the original Star Trek.  Those who know and like the show will enjoy the take on the characters and episodes (such as Spock and McCoy being "frenemies," the Gorn being "fashion-forward," or the fact that Khan "is not a morning person."), and even with the repetitive format it's good for a few laughs and lots of chuckles.  But give or loan it to someone who's not a Trek fan and be prepared to do a lot of explaining.

I wouldn't have thought that the original Star Trek could be explained so well as a children's story, but Fun with Kirk and Spock does just that.

Overall grade: B
Reviewed by James Lynch

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