Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Wanted: New Children's Early Chapter Series (No Fairies Please)

It is official, my daughters and I have read every Geronimo Stilton book published including the most recent "Geronimo Stilton and the Enormouse Pearl Heist."  We have listened to all available audio books over and over and over and over again.  We are in need of a new early chapter book series...desperately in need.   Fairies didn't take.  Junie we love...but again....read 'em.  Magic Treehouse, read 'em but not enough pictures.  Katie Kazoo, no thank you.  Where to turn?

I think that I may have stumbled upon a very unlikely answer, Echo and the Bat Pack, a chapter book mystery series by Roberto Pavanello.  Oddly enough this series, like Geronimo, is written by an Italian and came to the States after years of being available on the European market.  Perhaps Pavanello has been influenced by his writing colleague, the mystery man/woman/team behind Stilton?  Or not.  In any case, his team of young detectives, rodent leading man, and cartoonish graphics have been a big hit.  It may be a chapter book, but it's a great pace for reading aloud to younger children and a very accessible reading level for those who are ready to go it alone.  We had to know what would happen next, and we are so happy to see that almost a dozen titles are already available Stateside.  Great literature?  No, but the children characters are smart and respectful to one another, Echo is charming, and the mystery pulled us in.  We can't wait to read another.