I knew nothing about Geronimo Stilton or the wonderful world of Mousedom until one of my Picture Book Depot fans asked if I could get my hands on one of the books. He’s 9 years old and has reviewed a book or two on the forum, but this time instead of waiting for me to assign a book, he made his own request known. “I want Geronimo,” he said.
Geronimo Stilton is an upstanding, bespectacled, pillar-of-the-community type of mouse who serves as editor of the Rodent’s Gazette. He apparently has more adventures than a human can count, because the back of the book lists 47—count them, 47—mousey adventures that take him all over the world.
This particular book, called Run For The Hills, Geronimo, is penned by Geronimo himself (aka, Elisabetta Dami). In the book, our furry little brainiac is yearning for a nice, quiet vacation in a luxurious hotel nestled in the Black Hills of South Dakota. What he gets is a surprise from his cousin Trap, who trades in Geronimo’s first-class tickets for a rip-roaring mouse-family adventure chasing lost treasure. Among other things, Geronimo is thrown out the side-car of a Harley-Rattison motorcycle, whisked away in a hot-air balloon, and even lowered dead center into the eyeball of Theodore Roosevelt’s sculpture atop of glorious Mount Rushmore. From there, accompanied by his rambunctious mouse family, Geronimo faces challenge after challenge, all the while learning that vacations don’t have to be dull and boring.
I’m so glad I was introduced to Geronimo’s world. Not only was this book full of adventure (there’s even a mouse named Wild Willie who yells, “Go with the adventure!”), but it also doubles as a guide book for famous US attractions. Each time Geronimo and his family end up at an attraction or famous tourist spot, the author offers a detailed description of what the spot holds.
I enjoyed all the characters. In fact, though they’re all make-believe, I think I identified a few of my own family members in this bunch. Admit it, everyone has a cousin who tricks family members into paying the tab. And who doesn’t have a brother, uncle or best friend who leaps headfirst into adventure like Wild Willie? The illustrations remind me of the comic books and comic strips of yesterday; the pace is great, and the plot has more twists and turns than a train on a cross-country track.
These books are great for open discussion or quiet time in the classroom, and for finding and discussing interesting vacation spots across the US. They can even serve as story-starters for in-depth discussions about families and personalities. So, if you’re looking for a series that will get your child (or student) interested in reading for the long haul, try the Geronimo Stilton series of books.
Best wishes and…’Go with the adventure!’