[Book Review] Geronimo Stilton’s The Kingdom of Fantasy

Geronimo Stilton

I have always loved books, esp. children’s books. I have quite a few in my collection. I’ve used them a lot when I was still teaching in a regular classroom. I’ve been introduced to the Geronimo Stilton books some years back. The series is fun to read and collect. My daughter has some of the books in her collection. She’s now a teenager so her choices of books have gone on to the young adult category. My niece, on the other hand, collects Geronimo Stilton books now. It’s her book that I was able to borrow and read during the summer while I was recuperating from my surgery.

The Kingdom of Fantasy is Geronimo Stilton’s adventure book. It’s suited for longer reading than the original series books. Nonetheless, this new set of adventure books holds much more fun and excitement. Join me in entering the Kingdom of Fantasy.


Plot Summary

Geronimo Stilton is back with more adventures in this special edition book titled “The Kingdom of Fantasy.”

Here’s a little backgrounder, in case you’re not familiar with Geronimo Stilton. He runs a newspaper called The Rodent’s Gazette and he is from Mouse Island.He has a younger sister named Thea Stilton, who now has her own adventure stories too, a cousin named Trap Stilton, and a nine-year-old nephew, Benjamin Stilton. He’s typically a nervous kind of mouse and does not like a lot of adventures. It’s pretty ironic because he always gets involved in one.

To date, there are 53 titles in the Geronimo Stilton series, 12 titles in the graphic novels, some special edition books, as well as 14 titles in the Thea Stilton series (and counting…).


The Kingdom of Fantasy

The story started on the morning of June 21st. Geronimo Stilton was having such a bad day when he found a glittering crystal music box in the attic. It had seven precious stones set on its sides: ruby, topaz, citrine, emerald, sapphire, amethyst, and a diamond at the very top. Then he found a golden key and climbed the stairway made of golden dust. His adventure started when he entered the golden door. I won’t go into details so as not to spoil the excitement of reading this adventure book.Just know that Geronimo Stilton was brought into the magical world for a special mission — to save the Queen of the Fairies.

Travel through this fantastic world with Geronimo Stilton as he battles enemies and monsters and meets new friends around the seven kingdoms: witches, mermaids, dragons, pixies, gnomes, giants, and fairies.

Sit back, relax, and have a good read!


Characters

The main character in The Kingdom of Fantasy is naturally Geronimo Stilton — seen as the knight in shining armor to save the Queen of the Fairies. He is actually an unlikely hero as he is usually nervous and scared. Still, he manages to accomplish his mission at the end of the day.

Then, there is Scribblehopper — the Literary Frog who becomes Geronimo’s official guide in his adventure through the Kingdom of Fantasy.

The other members of the Order of the Fairy Queen:
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Shelly — a wise, generous turtle and the guide through the Kingdom of the Mermaids

Princess Scatterbrain — granddaughter of the Dragon King and is the guide through the Kingdom of the Dragons

Trick — a pixie who was ordered by their King to be the guide through the Kingdom of the Pixies; mischievous and playful

Factual — the wise and kind King of the Gnomes

Cozy — the Queen of the Gnomes

Giant — the giant with no name who is the guide through the Kingdom of the Giants

Blinkette — Geronimo’s guide through the Kingdom of the Fairies

The Villain
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Queen Cackle — Queen of the Kingdom of the Witches

There are other minor characters who appeared when Geronimo Stilton was at each of the kingdoms.


Setting

The book began at the office of The Rodent’s Gazette. Then moved on to Geronimo Stilton’s house. It was at his attic where he was introduced to a new world — The Kingdom of Fantasy.

From the sound of the name, you already know that this is going to be a magical world, one that is filled with fun and adventure. As you read on, you will be taken from one fantasy world to another.

There was the Kingdom of the Witches that Geronimo described as a nightmarish land. Travel to a world filled with black swamp, moldy mountain, and nightmare forest. It’s not for the faint-hearted.

A well-drawn and detailed map was included for each kingdom.(Awesome!)

The Kingdom of the Mermaids has an enchanted lagoon with deep blue water. There’s the rose-colored coral castle, blackbeard’s ship, and the chorus of a thousand mermaids.

The Kingdom of the Dragons is full of smoke! There’s the river of fiery lava, mount thunder, and the castle Dragonaire.

The Kingdom of the Pixies is refreshing with the green color of fresh grass. Geronimo and his friends almost got lost in the green labyrinth. No doubt this was the most mischievous world. Geronimo was subjected to riddles, optical illusions, and tongue twisters.

The Kingdom of the Gnomes has beautiful trees and colors. The King and the Queen made Geronimo and his friends feel welcome with delicious home-cooked meals courtesy of Queen Cozy.

The Kingdom of the Giants was covered with ice, the land of never-ending snowflakes. It was home to the last of the giants.

Finally, the beautiful and magical Kingdom of the Fairies where Geronimo is to rescue Queen Blossom. There was the rose with a thousand petals, the fountain of youth, the valley of the blue unicorns, and sleeping Queen, which kind of remind me of Sleeping Beauty. LOL!

Another putrid world was also featured. It was the abode of the Trolls who smelled horribly and disgustingly. Eeew indeed!


Conclusion

Overall, the book was teeming with graphical descriptions of the magical kingdoms. It was fun-filled and truly enjoyable to read. I felt like a kid once again, wanting to read more and more.

I love the way colors, gems, and even metals were used to differentiate each Kingdom. Plus, there’s a brief story for each one. There’s a full map of each of the Kingdom that it might have taken a long time before you could actually explore each of the places.

There are even short stories woven into the entire story. There’s the Myth of Arachne, The Little Mermaid, The Princess of the Dragons, and many more. These short stories were found within the stories of each of the Kingdoms.

The book even used a Fantasian Alphabet. It was some form of decipher codes. I remember the games we used to play as kids.

Finally, it was a story with a feel-good ending, of good winning over evil, and another bestseller for our friend Geronimo Stilton.

I highly recommend the book if you are a fan of adventure books. The good things about Geronimo Stilton books are that they’re not only teeming with action and excitement but also filled with attractive graphics on each and every page.


Don’t miss out on this great adventure book! Grab your copy today! ^_^

Teacher Rose  heart icon

The Filipino Alphabet

If you’re interested in learning the Filipino language, then it is noteworthy to learn more about the Filipino alphabet. Yes, there is a Filipino alphabet.

This was my first lens for the Rocket Squids Bootcamp. I’m now moving this post from Squidoo to my blog. The weekly challenge said to create a lens for a word that starts with the letter “A.” What could be more basic than the Alphabet? Then I thought that I would make it a bit more interesting by adding a cultural flair to it. Join me in learning more about the Filipino Alphabet.

Evolution of the Filipino Alphabet

When the Spaniards arrived in the Philippines in the 16th century, the natives had their own alphabet called the Alibata or Baybayin (see photo) which consists of 14 consonants and 3 vowels. The Spaniards replaced this with the Roman alphabet.

Baybayin alpha

Tagalog was proclaimed the national language of the Philippines in 1937. In his 1940 book entitled Balarila ng Wikang Pambansa, author Lope K. Santos officially introduced 20 letters. (a b k d e g h i I m n ng o p r s t u w y) This was adopted by the National Language Institute of the Philippines in 1973. The alphabet was then called “Abakada” for the letters were pronounced with the letter “a” at the end, i.e. ba, ka, da, and so on.

From 1961 to 1987, Tagalog was known as Pilipino. The alphabet was expanded in 1976 to include the letters C, CH, F, J, Q, RR, V, X, and Z in order to accommodate words of Spanish and English origin. The Pilipino alphabet consisted of 31 letters – the 26 letters of the English alphabet, the Spanish ñ, ll, rr, and ch, and the ng of Tagalog.

In 1987 when Pilipino was renamed Filipino, the alphabet was reduced to 28 letters (Ch, Rr, and Ll were removed.) The modern Filipino alphabet now has 28 letters that include 21 letters from the original “Abakada” and 8 borrowed letters from foreign origin (namely C, F, J, Ñ, Q, V, X and Z).

ABAKADA (with lyrics)
The old alphabet

Translation of some of the Filipino texts:

“Tayo na at mag-aral ng ating A-Ba-Ka-Da” –
Let us learn our alphabet

“Ang ating A-Ba-Ka-Da” –
our alphabet

“Kung ito’y alam n’yo na, tayo na at kumanta” –
If you already know it, let us sing it together

The Filipino Alphabet (song)

Translation of some of the Filipino texts:

“Alpabetong Pilipino” – Filipino Alphabet

“Ulitin natin ito” – Let’s repeat this

You can also learn ABaKaDa on your Android device. These flashcards from Rena Interactive make learning the Filipino Alphabet fun. 20 letters with pictures that your kids can doodle on. Plus, it aids kids and adults in identification and pronunciation of the Filipino Alphabet.


I hope this post will help you in your journey in learning a new language.

Teacher Rose  heart icon

[Holiday Craft] Fun and Easy to Make Paper Stained-Glass Art

Elephant at Kilimanjaro Paper Stained-Glass Art

This was previously published as a Squidoo lens. However, it was locked and later on deleted from there. It’s pretty worth sharing so I’m publishing it here as a tip to teachers, parents, and students alike who are looking for some nice arts and crafts to work on as a project. The photo above is the final outcome before said project was framed and even displayed as part of an art exhibit in school.

Do you want to learn how to make one yourself? It is quite easy. I’m sharing the steps here so read on for more details.

First, you would need a stained-glass art pattern for your work. In my daughter’s case, she found a pattern at one of the photos in the gallery at Glass Eye 2000 Stained Glass Software website. The chosen pattern was “The Elephant at Kilimanjaro.”

stained-glass art pattern

Once you have the pattern, you will need to gather the other materials needed: illustration board, aluminum foil, black poster board (cartolina), colored cellophane papers, cutter, pencil and eraser, glue.

art materials needed

Cover the middle part of the illustration board with crumpled and flattened aluminum foil. Leave a 1-inch border around the edge of the illustration board.

aluminum foil on illustration board

Since the illustration board is a bit difficult to cut through, my daughter drew the elephant pattern via free hand on a black poster board instead. Below is her failed initial attempt to draw and cut the pattern on an illustration board. She made the adjustment according to my suggestion.

failed art pattern

After drawing and cutting through some holes on the pattern drawn on the black poster board, you are ready to start adding the colored cellophane papers. See below for the sample. (Note: The black poster board was just placed on top of the illustration board with the aluminum foil for photo purposes. At this point it isn’t fixed in place yet.)

adding cellophane papers to patternKeep adding the different colored cellophane papers. I also suggest you keep testing how the finish product would look. Here’s a second photo with the second colored cellophane paper added.

adding more cellophane papers to pattern

Once you have added all the colored cellophane papers, the final product would have the entire pattern covered up with the different colors. (See below.) You are now ready to attach the black poster board with all the colored cellophane papers on the illustration board with the aluminum foil.

paper stained-glass art pattern

I covered the final product with a plastic cover to keep it safe and clean. That’s the image at the beginning of this post. It was further framed and displayed as part of a school art exhibit. Below is a photo of the artist (my daughter) and her work at the exhibit.

the artist at the school art exhibit

Well, I hope you learned something new today. Till my next update…

Teacher Rose  heart icon

[Classroom Discipline Series] 5 Guiding Principles

As I was doing some spring cleaning one day, I came across this small booklet that inspired me to start on a classroom discipline series. This post (and upcoming ones) is inspired by “100 Ideas That Work! (Discipline in the Classroom)” by Sharon R. Berry, Ph.D. I will naturally add a bit from my own experiences as a classroom teacher.

I’ve been a freelance tutor for quite some time now but I do find most of the techniques still applicable. The only difference is the number of students that I handle at a time. Tutorial is more personal, and each teaching and learning process is more customized to my tutees’ learning needs.

classroom discipline
Photo credit: NEA.org

Whatever your current situation is, I believe you can still apply these five guiding principles to classroom discipline. Do remember that consistency is the key too. Embody these principles in your daily teaching life and be on your way to a more fulfilling teaching career.

1. Establish personal caring relationships with all your students.

Show genuine concern and care for your student’s learning needs and personal lives. Pay attention when your students have problems or questions. This has an impact on their learning. In my case, it’s easier for me to teach them when I know where they are coming from.

Clearly in this day and age, there are too many distractions for young people. Some, if not most of these distractions, have an effect on their learning capacity. So learn to play it by ear to be a more effective teacher.

2. Pray consistently for each student.

Some folks may not believe in this, but I do find it helpful when I pray for the more difficult students. Teaching requires commitment and dedication. And the bottomline is for each and every student in your care to be able to learn the best that they can. I try not to restrict students, esp. the strong-willed or obstinate ones, for I believe that there is a purpose for each of us. Rather, I see myself as a guiding light with a purpose of leading them down the right path.

3. Teach students to honor and respect those in authority positions.

In order to be a good leader, one must be a good follower first. This I strongly believe in. It is, however, a bit challenging these days to teach young people to respect and honor those in authority. I suppose society is evolving, and more young people have the courage to challenge authority. Nonetheless, you can teach this best by being a good example.

4. Develop and exemplify self-discipline.

Like I mentioned above, the best way to teach is by good example. Students learn a lot from the way you handle yourself in situations, esp. the challenging ones. So, remember to always walk your talk. Young people have a way of “doing as you do” not “doing as you say.”

5. Treat your students’ parents as partners.

Like it or not, young people spend more time at home or other places than in school or under your care. The best way to ensure consistency is to involve your students’ parents in their learning. Home-school-community tie ups are great in order to maximize the students’ learning.

USMC-120717-M-XR064-002

For me, teaching is such a fulfilling profession. I not only have a hand in molding and shaping young people’s lives, but I also have a commitment to pass on whatever good values need to be taught to the younger generation.

Take time out and assess your own guiding principles in teaching today. Adjust and adapt accordingly based on your students’ learning needs and the changing times.

Teacher Rose  heart icon

[Petrarchan Sonnet Sample] SJCS Jubilee

Francesco Petrarca00

It’s my first time to ever write a Petrarchan sonnet. My source of the form and structure was Wikipedia. (source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petrarchan_sonnet)

According to the site, the sonnet is composed of 14 lines, divided into an octave (of 8 lines) and a sestet (of 6 lines).

The octave which introduces the theme or problem uses a rhyme scheme of abba abba; while the sestet which provides resolution for the poem can rhyme in various ways. In my case, I used the rhyme scheme of cddece.

Find the Petrarchan Sonnet for SJCS Jubilee below:

Educating the youth is no easy task.
Television, movies, and the Internet distract
Social media has more power to attract
How do schools of today stay relevant should I ask?

Present day students learn to multitask;
Educators need to help them keep on track.
Discipline, academic excellence make an impact
On success and achievement today’s youth will bask.

For 50 years SJCS played a huge role
In molding and shaping ideal citizens.
Just like the dragon that showed persistence
Similar to a phoenix that is resilient
Teaching Christ-centeredness as a whole
Adherence to excellence a lifetime commitment.

——————–

I wrote this sample Petrarchan sonnet for a tutee who requested it. Wow! One does learn something new every day. It may not be the best sonnet around, but it was written according to the theme given in the assignment. I personally believe it’s pretty good. ^_^

Teacher Rose  heart icon