GERONIMO STILTON #6: PAWS OFF, CHEDDARFACE!
By Geronimo Stilton
Published by: Scholastic; Reissue edition (April 1, 2004)
Available in: paperback, library binding, audible audio edition, Kindle, NOOK
At the time of this review there were 58 books in the English language version of the Geronimo Stilton series, as well as special editions and graphic novels.
But so fun. Geronimo Stilton #6: Paws Off, Cheddarface! is part of a raucous series that is part vaudeville, part language gymnastics and 100 percent delightful. Fast and entertaining, these books are best for the older chapter book reader who is comfortable with harder words, less white space and crazy typography that, at times, echoes comic books.
Sound a bit like a circus? It reads like one, too. Action is fast and inventive. Word play on mouse anatomy and food is rampant and hilarious. Chapters are short, bite-size bursts of stand-up comedy and pratfalls of plot points.
The use of wild typography to enhance moments of despair, surprise, importance, arrogance, delight and shock is downright brilliant. And the illustrations are colorful, simple and complex.
What is most astonishing about this delicious series is that the real author (Elisabetta Dami) and publisher originally launched this cheesy character in Italian. The fact that this genius turn of phrase and hilarity not only survives but also thrives in translation is a true marvel.
Aspects of the story premise are slightly more worldly than comparable chapter books. For example, Stilton is the publisher of a newspaper, and much of the action is in the office. Also, the comedy often touches more mature subjects and emotions, such as in this passage, where someone has changed the lock on his home: “… I went to work. I paid my taxes. I volunteered down at the Holeless Shelter. Holey cheese! Now I was a holeless mouse, too! I guess it’s true what they say. It could happen to anyone!”
Because of this, Geronimo Stilton makes a good crossover from older chapter book to middle grade. And because the tails–uh humh–tales are so funny and smart, even older kids will not be embarrassed to be seen with them in public. Can you say great summer reading, parents?
What do you say teachers, parents and writers? Use the comment below and let’s chat….