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InvestiGators and Geronimo Stilton | In Brief

Cover of InvestiGators

The InvestiGators and Geronimo Stilton may not seem to have a lot in common at first glance – the InvestiGators are secret agent reptiles, after all, and Geronimo Stilton is a cheese-loving investigative reporter mouse. But both of them will keep kids giggling with their silly adventures.

Investigators: Off the Hook
By John Patrick Green
First Second, 2021
Ages 7 and up

Mango and Brash are back in this third installment of InvestiGators. In this adventure, they are after a plumber who has turned to crime with a snake attached to his arm. Will the InvestiGators be able to unravel the mystery in time?

Each time I offer this series to my son, besides reading and rereading the title on hand, he asks when the next volume will come out. (Good news: There is another one scheduled for September!) The slapstick humor, corny jokes, adventure, and mystery makes this such a fun read. It’s easy to imagine the panels of The InvestiGators jumping off the page to a screen. The comic has all the makings of an animated series.

Young readers might not get all the plays on words, but they will still find it delightful, and that’s what makes this so wonderful: Readers of different ages can read the book at their level, which is why my (almost) 12-year-old can read this book and read and re-read it and my 9-year-old can also enjoy it. This would make a great family read for those looking for a good time and a good laugh.

The delightful artwork has clean crisp lines. The details add to the tremendous humor in this series. The colors are bold and bright.

There are so many laugh-out-loud moments. And while I’m not a huge advocate of the page to screen, honestly, this title would naturally transition.

Looking forward to more hilarious titles from this series.

Cover of Geronimo Stilton: The Sewer Rat Stink

Geronimo Stilton: The Sewer Rat Stink
By Tom Angleberger and Elisabetta Dami
Scholastic Graphix, 2020
Grades 2-5

Last week, when my son and I stopped into the public library to pick up some holds, I showed him where to find the children’s books (at this point they weren’t fully open), and he found a treasure trove of Geronimo Stilton titles. Chapter books, comics—he swept them all into our bag. While the Geronimo Stilton books have previously been adapted into graphic novels, this is the first original graphic novel, and it has fresh new artwork that allows for absolute recognition for our loveable Mouse Reporter.

In this story, a terrible stink has pervaded New Mouse City. In the beginning, the residents try to wait it out, and some are opportunistic ($50 for a clothespin?!), but soon the residents begin fleeing, and eventually Geronimo is the lone holdout. Never one to back away from a challenge, Stilton and his buddy Hercule go down into the sewers and investigate. They uncover a nefarious plot, and the heroes must defeat the cunning evil rats to save New Mouse City.

Filled with artwork that is bold and large, spilling out of panels, with text that pops and is used as part of the artwork, this exciting and witty adventure will appeal to young readers, whether or not they are already familiar with the series. There is lots of silly humor and wordplay. A real surefire hit.

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Esther Keller About Esther Keller

Esther Keller is the librarian at JHS 278, Marine Park in Brooklyn, NY. There she started the library's first graphic novel collection and strongly advocated for using comics in the classroom. She also curates the Graphic Novel collection for the NYC DOE Citywide Digital Library. She started her career at the Brooklyn Public Library and later jumped ship to the school system so she could have summer vacation and a job that would align with a growing family's schedule. On the side, she is a mother of 4 and regularly reviews for SLJ and School Library Connection (formerly LMC). In her past life, she served on the Great Graphic Novels for Teens Committee where she solidified her love and dedication to comics.

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