When you're with me, Geronimo Stilton, it's always a fabu-mouse adventure!
Sally Ratmousen broke some shocking news: The Rodent's Gazette was out of money and in danger of closing. Then Grandfather William broke even worse news to me: I needed to sell my comfy, cozy house in order to save our paper! How terrible! But could I sell it -- and find a new home -- in time to help?
My son is a big fan of Geronimo Stilton so we were really excited to receive this book to review.
This book gives us our first intimate look inside Geronimo's home - it is a lot larger than I expected and even includes a playroom for his nephew Benjamin. Sadly Geronimo is forced to sell his house in order to solve the Rodent Gazette's financial problems and save the jobs of their loyal workers. Things quickly go from bad to worse when Geronimo finds himself penniless as well as homeless.
The story is fast paced and while not overly action packed it definitely tugged on the heartstrings a bit. There are lots of bold and colourful illustrations throughout and the style is in keeping with all the previous Geronimo books with the use of different fonts and text sizes to emphasise particular words and add colour and interest to pages of otherwise plain text - the only downside of this being that my son sometimes has trouble deciphering some of the words when reading independently. The chapters are a decent length and we read the book over a couple of nights.
It was an enjoyable read and held my son's attention well despite the lack of action. It also has a sweet message about accepting change, never giving up hope and knowing when to ask your friends for help.
Geronimo's tale (or is it tail?) starts with Geronimo extoling the virtues of his house. He loves his bed, his room, his kitchen... well you get the idea. The author literally paints a picture of the house for the reader with a two page colour illustration of the layout of Geronimo's house. (The house is MUCH bigger than I had imagined, and even has a playroom for Benjamin).
But Geronimo's sunny outlook on life is seriously unhinged when things take a disastrous turn for the worse as the Rodent's Gazette is in 'serious' financial trouble...and it's all Geronimo's fault. This means only one solution, Geronimo must sell his house to resolve the papers troubles. The family trouble brings out the best in everyone and pitches in to help, even Geronimo's cousin has the most important responsibility of selling Geronimo's house. Which he manages to accomplish in 3 hours... complete with all Geronimo's belongings... things are certainly beginning to look grim for Geronimo, but things couldn't get any worse, could they?
This book is certainly a real page turner, with the reader really empathising with Geronimo's plight. Which goes from bad to worse, to completely dire within the first half of the book! The book wouldn't be a true Geronimo story without following the 'Geronimo' formula, some familiar villains' pop up but Geronimo is always ready and willing to battle for the underdog (or mouse) and put things to rights, the only difference in this story is that he's battling for himself.
There is a great message about resilience, and how home is where you make it, it's not the trappings and walls that surround us. I think this is a great story for any young reader, - those who are already Geronimo fans, or those who have never picked up one of his books before. (But be warned I'm fairly certain they will be hooked) and this is number #61 so he will become a familiar name in your household as he is in ours. I think this book is great value for money, introducing some more complex language such as delectable, gratitude, dishevelled, ambitious, frantically etc., in a fun and very 'readable' manner. I commend Mr Stilton on another fantastic story.
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Evelyn Waugh (1903 - 1966)