Thursday, April 3, 2014

Geronimo Stilton: The Secret of the Sphinx

Bargellini, Demetrio, Gianluigi Fungo, and Nanette McGuinness.  Geronimo Stilton: The secret of the sphinx. New York: Papercutz, 2009. Print.

ISBN:   9781597071598

Audience: Ages 7-11, Grade 2-6

Summary:  Geronimo’s cousin Trap, his friend Patty, and Patty’s niece and nephew drag him into an adventure in Ancient Egypt. The evil pirate cats have disguised themselves as rats and are plotting to convince the Pharaoh to make the Sphinx’s head into the form of a cat’s head. They hope to prove to the world that cats are the superior species. After a lot of exciting adventures, the mice are able to save the architect Ratty-Atum from being crushed and he rescues the captive pharaoh.

Strengths:   The colorful illustrations and exciting storyline could draw children into reading further books about Egypt or more Geronimo Stilton novels. There are panels explaining parts of ancient Egyptian life as well as other information built into the story itself. The graphic novel is more straightforward than the novels without the colorful changes in font that might confuse many younger readers.

Weaknesses:  There are time travel paradoxes and anachronisms that are not really explained which could bother some more sophisticated readers. A reader who is interested in learning about Egyptian history would have difficulty knowing which facts are accurate.

Uses: Graphic novels are excellent for inferring, since the reader must “read” the illustrations in order to follow the narrative (CCSS ELA: RL.1 Grades 4-7). Art teachers could use the illustrations to talk about graphic design and line drawings.  This book is perfectly suited to put in the hands of reluctant readers, especially boys, and would be high interest for many students. For TN 6th grade Social Studies teachers, it would also be an introduction to Egyptian history- as well as an opportunity to find the inaccuracies about the time period.

·      Lost Treasure of the Emerald Eye - Geronimo Stilton (first novel in the Stilton series)
·      The Wind in the Willows: The Wild Wood– Kenneth Grahame (graphic novel version of the classic story of Mole, Rat, and Toad)
·      A Night at the Museum (movie) – (movie where the characters are stuck overnight in a museum)
·      The Adventures of Ook and Gluk: Kung-Fu Caveman from the Future– Dav Pilkey (graphic novel of two cave boys who travel to the future)
·      The Great Egyptian Grave Robbery: Flat Stanley – Jeff Brown (Stanley travels by airmail to an Egyptian pyramid)

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