“Cartwheeling kangaroos! I can’t believe it! That seal pup is… pink?” – Nicky, Revenge of the Lizard Club, p. 35.
|Creator(s)||Christina Giorgilli (author) and Rafaella Seccia (illustrator)|
|Genre||Animal Comic, Fiction|
|Environmental Themes and Issues||Anthropomorphism, Animals in Danger, Pollution, Ocean Conservation, Marine Pollution, Corporations|
|Protagonist’s Identity||Thea Sisters: Nonhuman (Animal), female protagonists|
|Protagonist’s Level of Environmental Agency||Level 5: High Environmental Agency and Activism|
|Settings||Ocean, Fictional Whale Island|
The Thea Stilton series centers on the five Thea Sisters, a group of anthropomorphic mice friends who are studying to become journalists like their idol, the fictional mouse journalist Thea Stilton. In Revenge of the Lizard Club, the students of Mouseford Academy prepare to elect new officers for two school clubs, the Gecko Club and the Lizard Club. The election consists of three different competitions that test the candidates’ intelligence and their prowess in crafts and sports. As the competitors train, a sailor, Leopold, returns to shore with tales of a ghost ship that he encountered at sea. The residents of Mouse Island initially dismiss his claims and the competition continues unhindered. However, as Thea Sister Nicky runs along the shore during the final race, she discovers wild seal pups covered in toxic pink pollution. Leopold and other Mouseford Academy students soon arrive to help rescue the seals.
Determined to discover the source of the pink liquid, Leopold and the Thea Sisters take a boat out to search the area. They discover more polluted ocean water, which a professor identifies as “manufacturing waste from a paint or cosmetics factory” (Stilton 38). One of the Thea Sisters proposes that the group should use feathers to soak up the toxic chemicals, and the town successfully uses her plan to stop the spill from reaching the coast. Later, the Thea Sisters realize that Leopold’s supposed ghost ship is actually a real ship that has been dumping pollution into the ocean. They take cutter ships out to confront the ship and catch the culprits, who reveal that Vissia De Vissen, the mother of two Mouseford Academy students–and the antagonist of the previous comic, The Secret of Whale Island–has hired them to dispose of waste from her cosmetics company. However, the police do not obtain enough evidence to arrest De Vissen. Instead, she deflects blame onto her employees and vows, “I love the sea… and because of that, I will recover the trash containers that were thrown into the ocean.” Outraged, Nicky declares, “And those poor seals? They’re still traumatized by her negligence!” (Stilton 48). The next day, Nicky intentionally throws the race to allow another girl to win the club president role, and the comic ends without resolving the environmental threat posed by De Vissen.
Other environmentally themed comics in the Thea Sisters series include The Secret of Whale Island and The Thea Sisters and the Mystery at Sea.