The Hour of Magic (Geronimo Stilton and the Kingdom of Fantasy #8)
Something evil was making the hands of the magical Tick Tock Timepiece spin faster and faster. It was causing Blossom to age at an alarming rate . . . and if she perished, so would the entire Kingdom of Fantasy! Holey cheese! It was up to me to restore time and harmony to the land. Could I do it before the clock reached its final hour?
Dragons, mice, and a side of cheese
Geronimo's latest fantasy novel is due very soon, but he's been procrastinating, and his grandfather doesn't seem to have much faith in his abilities. When his watch is broken in an accident, Geronimo's grandfather suggest he visit an old friend, Minute Mouse, to have it repaired. After a pleasant evening and plenty of cheese, Geronimo falls asleep in a chair at Minute Mouse's house and finds himself transported to the Kingdom of Fantasy. There Blossom, the queen of the Fairies, is aging at a rapid rate. Geronimo must go on a quest to find and fix the enchanted clock. Such a quest is fraught with danger, and Geronimo must deal with the Labyrinth of Illusions, Peaclock the Peacock, the Kingdom of Witches and many other places and creatures before he is able to put the kingdom to right and return Blossom to her former glory. Of course, when he wakes up, he realizes that he has the story for his newest novel.
The artwork is as vibrant and amusing as it is in the other Geronimo Stilton books, with evil witches, funny frog princesses, and lots of sparkly things like the Sword of Truth. Occasional two page spreads show more detail of characters or places, and young readers will spend hours poring over different monsters and kingdoms.
It's easy to dismiss the Stilton books as fluff, but I thought this one had a nice message about Geronimo's interactions with his gruff and demanding grandfather. He is able to see how proud his grandfather is of him and this gives him a new understanding of why he is held to such high standards.
The Hour of Magic is a perfect read for a wet summer day, as long as it can be accompanied by an appropriately cheesy snack!