Disclosure: I am not a huge fan of Christopher Columbus, and I take issue with the way he was presented to me as a child as such a hero. It's pretty well documented at this point that he was not the first European to get to America. I suppose news didn't travel so well back in the middle ages, so it WAS big news when Columbus made his voyage, but I still feel he has more attention and accolades than he deserves. All this aside, I do think this is a good book for a number of reasons.
My five year old loves Geronimo Stilton books. She is drawn to the eccentric characters and silly (but not gross) humor. The illustrations are quite appealing too. We found this new graphic novel "The Discovery of America" in the library and just had to check it out. My daughter ignored the other "fun" books she'd picked out and plunked herself down with this "educational" one and read it cover to cover, animatedly discussing the funny bits and her own observations on the characters as she read. She enjoyed the book thoroughly and is already after me to find the other graphic novels about Geronimo.
Now on to details of the book itself: The premise here is that Geronimo's friend Professor Volt created a time machine in order to correct time line changes that have been put into motion as a result of a trio of time traveling pirate cats. Geronimo and his friends (Thea, Trap, Benjamin and Pandora) must use the machine to disrupt the evil plans of these cats, and preserve the proper sequence of events. The cats went to Spain in August 1492, so our band of merry mice follow along and join Columbus' crew on the Santa Maria. They have handy dandy earpiece translators which allow them to understand any language, though I do wonder how it also gives them the knowledge to speak in other languages as well! The pirate cats, disguised as rodents, attempt to sabotage Columbus and incite the crew to mutiny. It is only through the joint efforts of our brave mouse friends that the cats are exposed and made to wash dishes in the galley. The ships finally land in San Salvador, and are greeted warmly by the friendly natives. It looks as if they stay for a party and then return to Spain, minus the Santa Maria, which was damaged in a storm. The crew are able to board the other ships and all appear to return from the voyage safely. The bad guy cats escape to their time machine, and Geronimo and his company transport back to New Mouse City and Professor Volt.
The story leaves out most of the bad stuff, but does suggest hardship when rations run short, wind doesn't blow, and fear of the unknown causes problems with the crew.