It's Nonfiction Monday. So why am I featuring Geronimo Stilton, the "famouse" editor of "The Rodent's Gazette?" Well, I just finished another great online ALSC course. Each participant was given the task of creating "club" based on a children's book series. I chose the perennially popular Geronimo Stilton series. In researching ideas to use in my club, I discovered that the Scholastic Geronimo Stilton books are not the only Geronimo Stilton books. There is a separate series published in graphic novel format by Papercutz.
Unlike the original Geronimo Stilton series, the Papercutz titles (I haven't read them all) are a blend of fact, fantasy and adventure, à la Magic Tree House. Following is a review of the 7th book in the series.
Stilton, Geronimo. 2011. Dinosaurs in Action. New York: Papercutz.
In the course of a slim, 50-page volume (equal in size to a typical beginning reader book), the reader is entertained by the adventures of Geronimo and his gang as they try to foil the plans of the dastardly Pirate Cats, while they are simultaneously educated in the classification and habits of dinosaurs in the Cretaceous Period.
Both within the context of the dialogue,
Moldy Mozzarella! That's not a cloud.and in integrated panels that contain encyclopedia-style facts, the reader learns about each dinosaur featured in the story, as well as information on flowers, plants and prehistory in general. In keeping with the style of the original Geronimo Stilton series, the fonts in the dialogue bubbles are often varied in size, style or color.
It's a quezacoatlus!
And looking for prey ...It's heading for us!
Look! It's going away.
Thank goodness ... I wouldn't have wanted to end up in its belly!
We were lucky! The quezacoatlus is the biggest flying animal that ever lived.
Here's a page from the first book in the series (note the fact panel, bottom right):
|The Discovery of America ©Papercutz|
The bottom line? Geronimo Stilton definitely attracts reluctant readers. The graphic novel format may attract even the most reluctant of reluctant readers. Additionally, they're a source of facts that can be used to invoke interest in a topic (science, history, etc.), or a tool for teaching kids the ability to discern fact from fiction.
Is it fact? Is it fiction? Neither. It's faction, and it's fun!
Reading Guides and Games for the several Geronimo Stilton graphic novels are available here.
You can find all eight titles in the graphic novel series, reading guides, previews and more on Papercutz' Geronimo Stilton pages.
For all things Geronimo Stilton related (TV, books, graphic novels), the official Geronimo Stilton website is here.