Author: Geronimo Stilton
My GoodReads Rating: ⭐⭐⭐
I first came to know of Geronimo Stilton only when a book from the series was gifted to La Niña. It was the first book that she began to read on her own. Prior to that, she enjoyed reading but preferred to be read to, claiming that it left her free to exercise her imagination.
It was the formatting of this series, complete with words in different colours and fonts, text in various sizes, and numerous small illustrations scattered throughout the pages, intermingled with the text, that invited her to read for herself. She hasn’t stopped reading since.
Geronimo Stilton is the editor of The Rodent’s Gazette, a popular newspaper on Mouse Island. When his grandfather, William Shortpaws, a notorious cheapskate and the founder of the newspaper, decides to cut back on the expenses, Geronimo discovers that he is in for a most terrible time.
Grandfather William fires all the employees and orders Geronimo to do all the work, including writing, printing, and being general errand boy. Geronimo’s sister Thea is named the Page Three correspondent, while his cousin, Trap, who cannot hold a job, is appointed Grandfather’s personal cook. Geronimo’s nine-year-old nephew, Benjamin, is named Grandfather’s personal assistant.
The elderly mouse sends Geronimo off to Egypt to write a special report on the pyramids. But the flight and other arrangements that have been made are so cheap and dubious that the young hero wonders if he will ever return alive.
Instead of a seat belt, there is a piece of string. The windows are broken and passengers are urged to buy overpriced parachutes and lifebuoys. To make matters worse, when he wants to visit the washroom, he is given a bedpan, and the plane runs out of fuel in mid-flight.
Once he lands in Egypt, he discovers that Prof Alrat Spitfur has invented a new way to create energy using camel dung. The professor invites Geronimo to visit the pyramid of the ancient Egyptian pharaoh, Cheops.
Geronimo will be kicked at and spat on before this adventure is over.
La Niña loved the book. She loves to draw and paint and was entranced by the colourful illustrations.
The characters have such evocative names as Sammy Slickpaw, Alrat Spitfur, ‘Crash’ Ratjack, Ted Simplesnout, Miss Sally Skinnyfur, Daniel E Deadfur etc, all guaranteed to amuse kids. The locations in the book are Mouse Everest, the Great Mousewood Forest.
The figures of speech, Quick as a water rat doing the pawstroke, I looked like a tired lump of mouldy green cheese and Like a cat with a fur ball stuck in its throat etc and other expressions Slimy Swiss balls, Holey Cheese, Crunchy Cheese Chunks etc are all examples of regular expressions adapted to the mouse world.
Along the way, young kids get a not-quite-authentic (since the pharaohs are all mice) but still thoroughly entertaining lecture on Egyptian culture.
(I read this book through NetGalley.)