“Para Lights” by Aiden Woosol Lee

“Para Lights” by Aiden Woosol Lee 806 1024 Reader Views Kids

Para Lights

Aiden Woosol Lee
Lumiere Picture Book by Kids (2019)
ISBN: 978-1952322006
Reviewed by Terri Stepek for Reader Views (12/2023)

Young author/illustrator Aiden Woosol Lee has created an unusual tale of an old ghost in the modern world with “Para Lights: Shall One Ghost End Humanity’s Electricity?” My first thought on opening this book was about the vibrancy of Lee’s illustrations.  They are the perfect blend of complex simplicity, providing additional insight into the storyline without creating unnecessary clutter.  They’re crisp, sharp, and beautiful.  While these illustrations captured my attention, it was the first line of the story itself that enchanted me:

On the planet Earth, there was a 100-year-old ghost that lived a happy, paranormal life.

I knew at that point that Lee’s book was not going to be like any other children’s book I had read before.  So, I jumped into the creative construction of “Para Lights” to find out more about this ghost.

This is a very happy ghost who loves everything about his life, except for one thing.  The people of this generation.  He had been happily scaring people for a century until this impervious generation came along.  Oh, they’re not truly immune to the frights of a ghost.  It’s simply that they pay no attention to him.  After all, how can he scare them if they don’t have any idea he’s around?  They’re too busy staring at screens of various sizes to notice him!

Our ghostly friend does some undercover investigative work and discovers that these screens all have something in common:  electricity.  That’s when he hatches his devious plan to rid this generation of their screens.

I love so much about this book.  As mentioned, the illustrations are delightful and provide additional clues to the action of the story.  They are fanciful pictures with a keen eye for detail.  The storyline itself takes a pleasant turn once the ghost rids “the world” of electricity.  He’s convinced now that he will be able to interact with this generation he has loathed because of their inattention.  In an ironic twist, the young boy he chooses to frighten is one that he most likely would have been able to interact with even if the electricity were still on.  But the best twist is when he discovers just how unusual this human boy is.  This is not at all what he expected to happen.

The themes of respect and friendship are strong in this delightful story.  The author’s backstory makes this even more wonderful.  Aiden Woosol Lee wrote and illustrated “Para Lights” when he was in 6th grade.  This amazing young author/illustrator has since gone on to publish another children’s book, “A Galon of Water.”

I heartily recommend both books for preschoolers through middle grades.  Read it to your little ones, help your young readers to read it with you, and talk to your older readers to help them discover the truths in this story.  Then allow them to relate what young Mr. Lee has done with his passions and how your child could explore their own interests.

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