‘Geronimo Stilton’ becomes a best-selling children’s book series

By Amy Larsen
Waterville Library

(Provided image)

Not since Mickey has a mouse entertained so many children. Starting as an Italian children’s book in 2000, “Geronimo Stilton” has become an enormously popular children’s chapter book series worldwide. Scholastic now publishes the English versions.

Geronimo is an intelligent mouse working as the editor of “The Rodent’s Gazette” in New Mouse City, the capital of Mouse Island.

He and his friends and family share in adventures of all sorts around the world. Although Geronimo has no superpowers or weapons, things always manage to work out through his positive outlook and the help of his friends. Males and females work together as equals and often interact with different cultures. Full of numerous fun mousy references and, of course, a predilection for cheesy treats, these mice bring real life situations and various human personalities and behaviors into each adventure.

The print is interesting in the way a large variety of font types are used to highlight words. This adds a visual component of vitality and motion to the pages and is a natural choice for a mouse character who is an editor. Graphics are also used in interesting and varied ways with both large and small illustrations, and informative layouts that all work together to make reading a Stilton adventure a fun and broad learning experience.

Using the same recipe of illustration, classic storylines and characters with creative use of fonts, Geronimo’s sister, Thea, has her own series of adventure titles as does Geronimo’s friend Creepella von Cacklefur.

There is also a series of “Cavemice” stories set in prehistoric times (through the writings of Geronimo’s ancestor) and a science fiction series “Spacemice,” written of course by Geronimo.

Adults can appreciate the unique presentation and entertaining, yet informative, storylines consistent in all of the series. The series “Micekings” is set in the far north land of Vikings and dragons and the “Kingdom of Fantasy” series adds new twists to various fairy tales from around the world.

There are even full-color graphic novels, published by Papercutz, placing Geronimo in various points of history — “The Discovery of America,” “Following the Trail of Marco Polo” and “Play It Again, Mozart,” to name a few.

Children reading these series are introduced to so many historical and worldly topics it would be hard not to recommend them as perhaps the most fun, mind expanding children’s series ever. Parents might enjoy getting involved by offering tastes of the various cheese references — starting with Stilton — and may even find themselves becoming absorbed in the story.

It is not surprising that young readers bring a list of the Stilton titles they haven’t read yet to the library and excitedly wait for each new adventure to arrive.

 

Amy Larsen is librarian at the Waterville Library.