Book #1 Title & Author: ParaNorman: Meet the Ghosts adapted by Lucy Rosen
Book #2 Title & Author: ParaNorman: Attack of the Pilgrim Zombies! adapted by Annie Auerbach
**Books are based on the animated feature screenplay by Chris Butler.**
Year published: 2012
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Number of pages: 32 & 24, respectively
Recommended age: 5+
Daughter Rating: ★★★★☆
Daughter Rating: ★★★★☆
Son Rating: ★★★★★
Son Rating: ★★★★★
Grown-up Rating: ★★★★☆
Grown-up Rating: ★★★★☆
Reviewed by: Renee, Danielle, and Dominic (Mother, Daughter, and Son)
Summary of Meet the Ghosts (from back cover): Norman has a special gift that everyone else thinks is weird. He can talk to ghosts! Norman sees ghosts everywhere, but what good is talking to them if he does not have any living friends to talk to? When an old curse threatens his town, Norman discovers that his weird gift is exactly what is needed to save the day!
Summary of Attack of the Pilgrim Zombies! (from back cover): Blithe Hollow is like any other small town, except that an old witch’s curse is causing Pilgrim zombies to rise from their graves! Moaning and groaning, the undead wander the streets looking for one boy – Norman Babcock. Norman can talk to ghosts…but zombies aren’t ghosts. Can Norman and his friends brave the invasion to send the Pilgrims packing?
What I liked and disliked about it: I liked how both books were part of the same story, but you have to read the third book (which is much bigger than the first two) to find out what happens in the end. I liked how the title was a play on words using ParaNormaN instead of ParanormaL.
My little brother kept on saying the pictures were very scary and I kept begging to see the pictures. But when I did look, they weren’t that scary. I liked how the clouds form into a witch’s face. I liked that in the first book (ParaNorman Meet the Ghosts) you can look for things throughout the book.
My bottom line: I would recommend this book to boys and girls 5 and older.
What I liked and disliked about it: I liked that the book was about ghosts and zombies because I like scary books. I really liked the story. I feel bad for the zombies because they were cursed by a mean witch. When we first read the book, I thought that the zombies were mean, but they’re not in this book. Usually zombies aren’t nice.
I liked the pictures in the book. I liked the pictures of the zombies and ghosts because they were funny. I didn’t find them scary at all. The zombie pictures are really cool. It looks like the zombies are skeletons because you can see the bones and they barely have any skin left. It was funny in one of the pictures when one of the zombies came crashing through the window in the van. I would have been really scared if I was in the van. It’s also cool how the clouds form into the witch. I think that’s the scariest picture in both books!
There were lots of funny parts in the books. In ParaNorman: Meet the Ghosts, it was funny what the dog looked like when it was a ghost because it was in two pieces but could still walk. It’s also funny how his friend is pretending to be a dog by catching a stick.
I can’t think of any parts that I didn’t like.
My bottom line: I thought these books were fantastic and I would recommend them to girls and boys nine years old and younger, especially kids that love books about zombies and ghosts.
What I liked and disliked about it: ParaNorman: Meet the Ghosts and ParaNorman: Attack of the Pilgrim Zombies! are Books 1 and 2 of the Early Readers adapted from the screenplay of the movie ParaNorman by Chris Butler. We saw the trailer for the movie in the theatre when we went to see Ice Age IV and we all got pretty excited. In general, both my kids, but my son in particular, love anything having to do with zombies, ghosts, witches, etc. These books (and the movie) introduce us to Norman Babcock, a seemingly normal kid who has a special secret – he can talk to ghosts. The important lesson in these books is that even though you may be a bit different, you still have a place in the world.
I love the illustrations in the book. They appear to be either screen captures or illustrated by the same people who created the movie ParaNorman. The illustrations are spectacular. The books have a dark feel to them and there are a wide variety of ghosts and zombies – most of which are really spooky. The images of the witch in the clouds are particularly disturbing. I imagine that the movie could be very frightening to young children. If you child is very sensitive to this kind of imagery, I would not recommend the books nor the movie.
That being said, the story itself is not scary – nothing bad happens (at least not yet). The first book ParaNorman: Meet the Ghosts is essentially an introduction to Norman and provides the background and setting for the story. The second book ParaNorman: Attack of the Pilgrim Zombies! picks up where the first book left off and provides the next section of the story. There is some tension in each of the books (e.g., the ghost wanting to find and talk to Norman in the first book and the zombies chasing Norman trying to explain their plight) and the conclusion in each of these books provides the set-up for the following book. Thus, it should be noted that Book 2 is not the conclusion to the story. There is still more to the story to come, presumably, in the next book.
We were also gifted the middle grade version of ParaNormal but have not had the chance to read and review it yet. We will be happy to share our thoughts when we get to that book closer to Halloween! 😉
My bottom line: The story in the books is ok, but the illustrations are amazing. I would recommend these Early Reader books to children aged at least 5+, with the warning that the imagery can be frightening for younger children who are sensitive. If your children are fans of the macabre, these books would be right up their alley!
*ParaNorman: Meet the Ghosts and ParaNorman: Attack of the Pilgrim Zombies! was provided to us free-of-charge by Big Honcho Media.*
ParaNorman Prize Pack and Book Giveaway
Don’t miss your chance to enter to win one of two ParaNorman Prize Packs that include a Freaky Fun Cupcake Kit, backpack, activity book, keychain, nightlight, other ParaNorman goodies, and THREE ParaNorman books: the two reviewed here plus a middle grade book, ParaNorman based on the movie of the same name.
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