Saturday, December 31, 2016

Cartoon Saturday- MORE Geronimo Stilton

Stilton, Geronimo. Thea Stilton and the Madagascar Madness.
November 29th 2016 by Scholastic Paperbacks
Copy provided by Young Adult Books Central

Geronimo's sister, Thea, is a teacher at Mouseford Academy, where she has a following of students who call themselves the Thea Sisters. These five girls get to go on fabulous adventures, and the latest one is sponsored by the Green Mice Environmental Organization. They get to go to a survival camp in Madagascar to learn about the indigenous species of animals. It's not the Hilton, so some of the girls don't like roughing it. They're not there long before they have to deal with another group that is uncooperative and mean, as well as suspicious characters who show up at what is supposed to be a closed site! Using their detective skills, the Thea Sisters are able to stop poachers as well as learning about rain forest species. 

The Thea Stilton books tend to be the most sophisticated branch of this franchise. Not only are there six very distinct characters, the story lines involve complicated mysteries. There are even sidebars with a magnifying glass to help identify the clues so that readers can make sure they are following along. 

The best part for me was the inclusion of information about Madagascar and some of the exotic animals that are found only on that island. I wish there were more about environmental concerns in books for young readers. 

While elementary school students will be able to make their way through these titles, I can also see them being appealing to fans of Petrucha's Nancy Drew graphic novels, and high school students who love manga and who will read these to younger siblings just for the chance of hanging out with Collette, Nicky, Paulina, Violet, Pamela, and their teacher, Thea Stilton. 

29241353Stilton, Geronimo. Magical Mission (Geronimo Stilton #64)
October 11th 2016 by Scholastic Paperbacks
Copy provided by Young Adult Books Central

When the statues of lions surrounding Nelson's Column in London's Trafalgar Square start roaring at passersby, Geronimo is contacted by secret agent 00K to travel to London to solve the mystery. He is glad to, because an old professor of his, Reginald Ratting, is giving a talk at the National Gallery, and Geronimo doesn't want him to be interrupted by the lions. Cousin Trap accompanies Geronimo, ostensibly to participate in a magic competition. While Trap doesn't do so well, and Geronimo has to come to his aid, the mystery of the roaring lions is solved so easily by our intrepid friend that we have to wonder if Scotland Yard was hanging out posh places having fancy cheese instead of investigating. 

I will read just about any book set in London, since it is my favorite place in the world. I could sit for hours in Trafalgar Square, just soaking up the atmosphere and making occasional forays into the Waterstones bookstore there! Magical Mission gives a brief but thorough introduction to this fabumouse city for young readers, complete with a description of a full English breakfast. I can almost taste the fried bread, mushrooms and tomato!

Geronimo frequently takes breaks from his journalism career to be a secret agent, but has apparently not completed the training, because he always runs into problems. Perhaps he should give up that gig and take on magic as a full time career-- he did much better at that than Trap did! Usually, this original series manages to intertwine two plots, and usually manages to involve Geronimo enjoying at least one sumptuous repast. 

Reluctant readers or elementary students are usually the ones to pick these books up, and it's great when the books offer them a small glimpse of life in another country. My students are very much looking forward to the next volume of this, The Bollywood Burglary, and I'm interested to see how well Geronimo does in India!

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