Posts Tagged ‘Gecko Press’

The longest breakfast

By Jenny Bornholdt

Illustrated by Sarah Wilkins

ISBN 9781776571673

Gecko Press  October 2017

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day and a good one will set you right for the whole day. So too, will quality time with family at the start of each day. The longest breakfast is the perfect example of the early morning chaos over finding the right breakfast. Poor Malcolm is bombarded with requests for all sorts of breakfast even someone wanting pudding. The baby toddles after Malcolm calling out toot, toot or bzzzzzzz but Malcolm is busy trying to sort out everyone else and we can see that the baby begins to feel ignored.

I love how the illustrations of the baby start out small but as he gets more and more frustrated his illustrations become bigger until  finally the baby has his own full page and is at last noticed by the rest of the family.  Eventually everyone, including neighbours, come together for breakfast. A busy, warm, family-friendly picture book with bright colourful illustrations.

Published October 2017 so not long to wait.

 

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My pictures after the storm

By Eric Veille

ISBN 9781776571048

Gecko Press

 

What a delightfully funny board book of words. Simple but comical pictures of before and after events. Board books are mostly aimed at babies and toddlers but this is one that even adults will love. 

On the left hand side of  each double page spread you have “my pictures” of an event where there are multiple little illustrations with a description underneath. On the right facing page you have pictures after the event with similar illustrations and descriptions. One example is “Before lunch” you have a loaf of bread and after you have a picture of crumbs.

I particular love the page where the pictures of food are labelled such as “dobado” and “lebod” but “after a cold” they are of course tomato and lemon. And the page after corrections is also very funny. Such a simple idea, yet very creative and clever. Children will love making the connections and spying the changes. Lots to do, lots of surprises and lots of fun. I just love it and the kind of dry sense of humour which makes us laugh even louder.

What dog knows

by Sylvia Vanden Heede

Illustrated by Marije Tolman

ISBN 9781776570379

Gecko Press

What Dog Knows cover

This is a perfect combination of story and facts.

It is both a chapter book with a story of Wolf and his cousin Dog and their wonderfully quirky relationship but also a book filled with facts and quizzes and lots of humour. Wolf continually attempts to outwit his cousin but sometimes with only a little bit of information he gets confused and Dog has to fill him in with the real facts.

The facts through out the book are bite-size and informative. I loved the chapter about mummies and the hilarious illustration of the recipe for a mummy (according to Wolf). While there are plenty of things in this book to try at home I wouldn’t suggest trying to mummify the cat but it is certainly a laugh-out-loud read. Wolf makes up little rhymes too which tend to annoy Dog but they do add to the story.

There are stories and information about dragons, and dinosuars, pirates and robots but so much more.

The end pages are gorgeous. Watch out for Wolf and his cheeky face under the flaps.

It is an ideal book for readers who love facts, or animal stories, or humour. It really is a book with a little bit of everything. Aimed perhaps at the newly independent readers it still has something for any age whether parents, grandparents or teachers, this is a wonderful book perfectly accompanied by the funniest illustrations.

The pencil

By Paula Bossio

ISBN

9781776570416

Gecko Press

 

pencil

The pencil is a delightful wordless board book. A little girl finds a piece of string and lets her imagination soar as she follows it. I adore how she discovers, hoops, bubbles and even a monkey on her journey. However, like all good imaginations, hers also finds trouble. I love her smiles and sheer delight in the world she creates.

This is a simple but gorgeous, funny and creative board book to be read over and over. However, don’t be fooled. The book does not end on the last page. Turn to the back cover and enjoy the real ending. Perfect choice for young ones.

 

Have you seen Elephant?

By David Barrow

ISBN 9781776570096

Gecko Press

 

Have You Seen Elephant_front cover 300dpi_gecko

“Elephant wants to play hide and seek. You can play too, but you’ll have to try your best – he’s VERY good!”

I love this. Absolutely love the humour and the illustrations are just so delightful. Elephant is certainly very good at hiding. Hiding in plain sight that is, and he does it so innocently that it just makes you smile.

I mean how can you resist this picture? Elephant is just gorgeous and they play so well together. I also love the tortoise, ironically named Zoom.

Young children will get right in to this and laugh out loud when they find elephant in his hiding places. Simply delightful. I certainly hope there will be more from David Barrow.

One of the things that make Gecko Press so special is providing teaching notes for many of their books which encourages a deeper look at the stories. The notes for Have you seen Elephant can be found here.

I want spaghetti

By Stephanie Blake

ISBN 9781927271926

Gecko Press

 

IWantSpaghetti_PB_Cover_04

Simon, the naughty little rabbit with attitude is back. No longer calling out “poo bum”  or refusing to go to school, Simon is now a fussy eater. The only thing he will eat is spaghetti.  He demands spaghetti for every meal and refuses to be persuaded to try anything else. His mother is well and truly over his picky eating.

“That’s enough!” said his mother.

“Go to your room.”

   And so begins his tantrum.

This is ideal for young readers but even five and six-year-old children at school will love this and no doubt many of them will relate to Simon and his fussy eating.

As with previous stories about Simon, the illustrations are simple yet bold and bright. They certainly have lots of appeal for young readers. And as with every good story, even though Simon is a bit of a rascal, readers can’t help but like him. Well worth adding to your collection of Simon books especially if you want to sit giggling with your child and enjoying the antics of a naughty little rabbit.

If you want to delve deeper there are teaching notes here.

The big book of animals of the world

By Ole Konnecke

ISBN 9781776570126

Gecko Press

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This is not your average board book. For a start, it is a much larger format board book which makes it ideal for sharing with the whole family or a group of children. They will love pointing out all the different animals found within its pages.

Crossing different landscapes we meet animals from the Arctic, to farms and cities and mountains, to Africa and China, and right across the globe. While on the surface it may appear to be a simple word book, it is much more than that. This book houses a collection so vast that children will find so much to talk about. It might be the different animals or it might the different habitats but whatever it is, this is wonderful opportunity to talk and discuss and that alone makes this a very worthy book to add to any collection. There is even a little family of mice who make their journey across the different continents and oceans. Well, at least I think they are mice. I might have to just keep reading the book again and again to be sure. I love the sloth!

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It is great to see that even our humble Kiwi has been included. For those that want to explore this book even more, especially in a classroom setting, do check out the teacher notes here.

Pictures courtesy of Gecko Press.

Hello World

Written and illustrated by Paul Beavis

ISBN 9781927271988

Gecko Press

hello world

Mr. and Mrs. Mo are so busy that they have no time to play with Monster. So the little, and rather impatient Monster decides to go off in search of his own adventure, anyway. And what an adventure he has. That is until loneliness and hunger take over.  Little monster soon realizes that those who love him are always near, always ready to protect him and keep him safe. Younger readers will love looking for Mrs Mo hiding just out of reach, as little monster takes on his first journey towards independence.  This is beautifully illustrated in the most wonderful colours. Bright oranges, yellows and reds all bursting with sunshine and shadows.  Monster has the cutest, quirky facial expressions which kind of pull at the heart strings especially when he is feeling a little weary.

It is one of those stories to cherish and read again and again. A very reassuring tale of love and support.

 

This delightful book follows the equally wonderful picture book

Mrs. Mo’s Monster

ISBN 9781927271018

Mrs mo Do enjoy the trailer to the first book as borrowed from the author and illustrator Paul Beavis’ own website. Do check out his site especially the fun stuff you can do.

 

 

The Bakehouse

By Joy Cowley

ISBN 9781776570072

Gecko Press

 

bakehouse

Bert is in his 80’s when the novel opens and he is confronted by his great grandson Erueti; a boy who wants to know all about his ancestors.

So Bert begins his story and it isn’t very long before we are drawn into the past. The year is 1943 and New Zealand is caught up with the second world war.

Bert is 11 and eager to grow up quickly so he can go and fight in the war. He wants the adventure, the action and to defend his country. We begin to get to know Bert and his two sisters, Meg and Betty and the struggles of day to day to life. The Bakehouse is a book of mystery – just who is stealing clothes from the clothes lines in the middle of the night. It is also a book of danger and secrets and the secrets have the most power to destroy.      In fact it is the consequences of secrets which Bert still struggles with some 70 years later.

This is a moving, timely tale which is not only a great read but a solid account of the times. Without television the news came via radio and everyone would stop and listen.

“The war was always there, like a big hungry ghost that poured itself out of the radio to haunt the house.”

 

I loved the language, perfectly fitting for the era. I couldn’t help smiling at the terminology as it brought back my own memories. It also shows how language is always growing and adapting. A delight to read. Great for  9 – 13 year old readers and for many adults it is also great for a nostalgic look at the past set during times of war. And as for the ending – powerful – but you will just have to read it yourself. It is easy to see why Joy Cowley continues to win awards. Her writing is always top-notch and this is no exception.

Detective Gordon : The first case

By Ulf Nilsson

Illustrated by Gitte Spee

ISBN 978192721506

Gecko Press

5

What an utterly charming book!

Detective Gordon is a rather over weight toad who loves nothing better than eating cakes, drinking tea and stamping important papers. However, he is suddenly faced with a mystery when squirrel comes rushing in to declare that someone has stolen his stash of nuts. He soon thinks he has the culprit but instead it turns out he has caught a rather lonely, hungry and nameless mouse whom he takes under his wing, makes her his assistant and bestows upon her a name. Together they stand in the freezing cold, watching and waiting for clues which could lead them to the real thieves. I love how Detective Gordon and his new assistant become friends, their relationship taking on as much importance as the theft of the nuts.

I can see why Ulf Nilsson is an award winning writer. His words flow naturally.

   “The squirrel started to cry. Tears rolled down his soft cheeks where they immediately froze to ice  Small pearls fell to the ground”

The illustrations are also gorgeous. Just look at the cover and the expressions on the faces of the two main characters.

This is a great chapter book for newly independent readers aged 7 – 9. I think it would be equally as wonderful as a read-aloud by parents or teachers.

I certainly hope that there are more books about Detective Gordon and Buffy his new side-kick. I would love to see what other mysteries they can solve.

Once again Gecko Press have produced a quality book.

The King and the Sea

By Heinz Janisch

Illustrated by Wolf Erlbruch

ISBN 9781927271803

Gecko Press

king

Heinz Janisch has skillfully created one of those books that appears on the surface to be simply a collection of short stories. And they are just that – very short simple stories about a King. However, it doesn’t take much to realize that the stories offer much more. Each little story is quite profound. The King believes he is in charge and therefore very important. As he goes about his day he meets up with many things; clouds, dogs, rain and so many more. He either questions them or tries to bully them but little by little he realizes that life is bigger than he will ever be. There is a reason and purpose for everything and everyone. One of my favourites is:

The King and the Dog

“Sit! Lie! Come!” shouted the king. “I am the king!”

“Stop! Fetch! Heel!” he bellowed.

Then he ran off after the dog.

This fable like story is both funny and wise and I can’t help but grin as I read it over again.

I also love The King and the Rain. This quirky little book is beautifully illustrated by Wolf Erlbruch who also illustrated Duck, Death and the Tulip which sits on my bookshelf among my favourite picture books.

The King is illustrated in collage format and he stands out amidst the white spaces on the pages. This allows us to really see him and begin to understand him more by focusing on his expressions and body language. This is great for families to read together but I also think this would be a wonderful resource to share in a classroom and open up discussion on values and what is important in life. In fact for those teachers who want to make the most of this thoughtful book, check out the teacher notes here.

When dad showed me the universe

By Ulf Stark

Illustrated by Eva Eriksson

ISBN 9781927271827

Gecko Press

“Sometimes the most important things are right under your nose.”

ViewImage

Gecko Press continually produce beautiful books and this is no exception.

Dad takes his son out one evening to show him the universe. It is of course huge, and very special. They gather their coats, and one or two important provisions and set off on their journey. As with the best journeys, getting there is often just as special as the destination. They observe the little things along the way, things that build up a bigger picture of the universe and just how special life really is.

This is a beautifully illustrated book just perfect for dad’s and sons to share together.
Ulf Stark has the ability to connect readers emotionally with the characters in his books. Eva Eiksson’s illustrations brings those characters to life in a lovely visual way in gorgeous colours. And of course such a journey together also includes a bit of humour. Great combination and a book which I think, is just superb.

 

Max is a delightful toddler learning to negotiate the world around him. He loves his dog, his bath and his wagon. In fact his dog’s antics and facial expressions are just adorable and a little mischievous. Max and his dog have little adventures; the kind every young child can relate to. There’s Max’s soft toy bear who falls in to trouble. There is a wagon full of toys and a lost cookie. Then of course, there is the fun of playing in the bath. These board books are gorgeously illustrated by Eva Eriksson. Text on one page allows the focus of the illustrations on the opposite page to grab our full attention. I love that there are no adults in the illustrations allowing Max his own little independence. These gentle and sweet stories will delight very young readers who will beg for them to be read over and over again.

Max’s wagon
By Barbro Lindgren
Illustrated by
Eva Eriksson
Gecko Press
ISBN 978177650010

wagon 2

Max’s bath
By Barbro Lindgren
Illustrated by
Eva Eriksson
Gecko Press
ISBN 9781776570003

bath

Max’s bear
By Barbro Lindgren
Illustrated by
Eva Eriksson
Gecko Press
ISBN 9781776570027

bear

The day no one was angry
By Toon Tellegen
Illustrated by Marc Boutavant
ISBN 9781927271605
Gecko Press

5 (Medium)

This a collection of twelve short and funny tales about grumpy animals living in the forest. They have a fable-like philosophical approach in their telling and readers can’t help but laugh along at the antics of the grumpy creatures. It’s immediate appeal is its outstanding cover which just cries out to be picked up.
Follow the story of aardvark who just happens to always be standing on his head and squirrel who questions the sense in aardvark’s choice. Or there is beetle and earthworm who try to out do each other by being the angriest. Or beetle giving instructions to cricket on how to look fierce.
This is a delightful look at human nature through the eyes of some wonderful animal characters. Great stories which will be wonderful to be read aloud to young children. Older children will love reading the stories for themselves.
The illustrations have a wonderful vintage look and feel which takes me back to my own childhood. Mindful of illustrators such as Virginia Lee Burton, Bill Peet and even Richard Scarry in his Little Golden Book days, the illustrator here is in very good company and the beauty of this is that the book will appeal to many parents and grandparents as much as children of today. And just in time for Christmas this will be great in Christmas stockings.

You can do it, Bert

By Ole Konnecke

ISBN 9781927271438

Gecko Press

bert

This is a gorgeous picture book about Bert, a young bird who is ready and waiting to take a risk and do something he hasn’t done before. He is ready both mentally and physically, but perhaps just not on the first attempt. But Bert doesn’t give up. Will he succeed – of course! This is perfect for children who may just need a little encouragement to try something new. This could just as easily be a book about starting school. Simplistic in its style, both illustrative and textually, allows the characters to be the centre of the story. Great for pre-school.

Teacher notes can be found here to make the most of this picture book.

 

 

I don’t want to go to school
By Stephanie Blake

9781877579080

Gecko Press

school (Small)

Simon the rabbit is back! We all fell in love with Simon in the best-selling book Poo bum. Well Simon is now about to start school and he really doesn’t want to go. No matter how hard his family try to coax him, he repeatedly tells them “I don’t want to go to school”. Does he go? And if he does what is going to happen? Bright colours, simple story that captures the feelings and anxieties about starting school but with a great outcome which is sure to appeal to young children in the same situation.