Stilton, Geronimo. Attack of the Dragons
March 29th 2016 by Scholastic Paperbacks
Copy provided by Young Adult Books Central
In this new series, we find Geronimo in an ancient Norse-type setting among the micekings. When the cook in the village is laid low with a bad cold, Geronimo sets off to find the wild mint that will cure her, so that she can continue to make her delicious stew. Also, once he has completed a quest, he can win his mouseking helmet. The journey is fraught with peril, from mouse eating dragons to perilous weather. Thanks to the help from his friend and sister, Trap and Thea, Geronimo is able to make it home victorious, and can prepare for his next adventure, The Famouse Fjord Race (August 2016).
Like the other Geronimo Stilton series, where he is a reporter, a space mouse, and has various other adventures, this book has full color illustrations on almost every page, and even the words in the text use different colors and fonts. This makes the pages very bright and full of interesting things to look at. Readers who have trouble interpreting graphic novels would do well to start with these books, since the text is laid out in an easier to follow fashion, but the pictures surrounding the text add information that is useful to the story.
Geronimo is a rather dramatic mouse, given to lots of drama. The snow is super cold, the journey is impossibly hard, and the dragons apt to eat him right this minute. Thea is more practical and even tempered and saves the day on many occasions, but Trap has very little patience and tries to get Geronimo to be sensible. Geronimo tends to obsess on one topic-- in this case, his helmet-- and take any chance necessary to achieve his goal, no matter the cost.
Lovers of goofy stories like Gutman's My Weird School, Pilkey's Ricky Ricotta, and Babymouse's hallucinatory escapades will follow Geronimo's adventures avidly, and there are a great many books, all translated from the original Italian, to keep them reading.
My struggling readers LOVE Geronimo, and the books tend to hold together better than many of the heavily illustrated graphic novels, especially when purchased in prebound formats. That said, I found this one to be a bit odd in it's handling of pseudo-Norse stereotypes. Perhaps the Italians aren't as politically correct and/or sensitive about these things as we are in the US.