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Review: Geronimo Stilton Graphic Novels #1-2

Geronimo Stilton, editor of the Rodent Gazette and writer of adventure stories, is now a comic book creator as well. In his first two graphic novel adventures, he is sent back to the past by his good friend Professor Volt. Geronimo’s job is to stop the evil Pirate Cats from changing history. First they try to prevent Columbus from discovering America by sowing the seeds of mutiny and then they go all the way back to Ancient Egypt to try to trick the pharaoh into putting a cat’s face onto the Great Sphinx. Can Geronimo and his friends stop them in time to save history or is the Pirate Cats’ plan too "purr"fect to fail?

Geronimo Stilton, #1: The Discovery of America
Ages 8-12
Papercutz, August 2009, ISBN 978-1-59707-158-1
56 pages, $9.95

Geronimo Stilton, #2: The Secret of the Sphinx
Ages 8-12
Papercutz, August 2009, ISBN 978-1-59707-158-1
56 pages, $9.95

Okay, I will confess: I haven’t read the Geronimo Stilton novels. I know, it’s a sad lapse that I need to fix immediately, especially now that I’ve read these cute, silly additions to Geronimo’s adventures. I was worried that a graphic novel version of such a popular books series might have been rushed to completion in order to get it into the eager hands of fans, but luckily these graphic novels show no signs of being thrown together hastily. Both stories are filled with humor, but without forgetting about plot in the process.

The historical elements are not completely accurate, which is understandable since Geronimo lives in a world populated almost entirely by mice and cats, but there are plenty of sidebars which explain the historical details, keeping the reader straight on setting and time period. These sidebars are in no way distracting, though, fitting right into the panels so that readers don’t have to break the story to pick up needed information. The only problem that readers might run into is that these sidebars tend to use longer vocabulary, but they should be able to decipher those words based on the other words around them without too much problem.

The art is beautifully colorful. The characters look as they do in the novels (I checked to be sure) and everyone is distinct enough to be clear and memorable. There’s a Saturday-morning-cartoon feeling to the drawings, which should appeal both to kids and to parents assisting with reading. Fans of the novel series will be happy to see that the varied fonts from the books have been carried over to the comics, though to a lesser degree.

What is particularly nice about these books is the high quality of printing and binding. They are library bound, just a little smaller than the size of a traditional comic book. Everything is full color throughout, even down to the end pages which use a sepiatone effect to introduce the characters. The binding is sturdy, but not so stiff that it doesn’t want to stay open. And all of this is for just $9.95 a volume! That’s a very accessible price for libraries looking to add the series to their collection. I recommend these for children’s collections, though my recommendation is hardly needed. Fans are hopefully already asking for them!

This review is based on a complimentary copy supplied by the publisher. All images copyright © Papercutz.

Snow Wildsmith About Snow Wildsmith

Snow Wildsmith is a writer and former teen librarian. She has served on several committees for the American Library Association/Young Adult Library Services Association, including the 2010 Michael L. Printz Award Committee. She reviews graphic novels for Booklist, ICv2's Guide, No Flying No Tights, and Good Comics for Kids and also writes booktalks and creates recommended reading lists for Ebsco's NoveList database. Currently she is working on her first books, a nonfiction series for teens.


  1. Hey Snow
    Thanks for the great review.
    I agree with you on all points, especially that libraries should have no hesitation in purchasing these books.
    They are beautifully sturdy and slightly larger than the normal Geronimo Stilton books so they won’t get lost in the shelves.
    Combine that with an engaging story, appealing characters and snippets of history and you have a potential hit on your hands.
    Well done to Papercutz for putting so much thought into the production.

    The Geronimo Stilton News Site

  2. I loaned a copy of the first volume to the 3rd grade teacher at my school, because she reads a lot of Geronimo Stilton books to her class. Her students are now writing letters to the publisher about how much they like Geronimo Stilton – they LOVE the graphic novel and want more more MORE!

  3. Great review! Not that I ever doubt Geronimo Stilton’s adventures. He’s one very cool mouse.

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