Live life to the Max and find out who’s hiding with Gecko Press

Maxs wagon
Max's wagon

I’ve been lucky enough recently to look at some new books by Gecko Press who, according to their website, “translate and publish award-winning, curiously good children’s books from around the world”.

So far I agree with their tagline. I took three books home to share with a picture book aficionado – my lovely Lucy who is 2½ and helped me with the product testing. Max’s Wagon and Max’s Bath both by Barbro Lindgren. These gorgeous children’s books were first published in Swedish in 1986, but they have a timeless simplicity that will make them classic children’s books.

There is so much to Max’s experiences that a toddler can relate to. I shared both of these books with my 2 ½ yr old and at the end of the first one she said what a good story it was and both of the Max books have become favourites at bedtimes. From a parent’s point of view, the simple storylines with a recognisable, repeated pattern will help with a child’s reading development and predictive skills. I enjoyed sharing these books with Lucy almost as much she enjoyed having them read to her. 

Both the author and illustrator are celebrated and well-loved both in Sweden and abroad. Barbro Lindgren also did the charming Benny books.

Max’s Wagon by Barbro Lindgren, illus. Eva Eriksson 978-1-877467-04-2 (Hbk) RRP $14.95
Max’s Bath by Barbro Lindgren, illus. Eva Eriksson 978-1-877467-04-2 (Hbk) RRP $14.95
Who’s hiding by Satoru Onishi

This book is such a simple concept but so effective. On each page there is some thing(s) to look for – who’s hiding, who’s crying, who’s sleeping, which sounds easy but is not as easy as you think. On each 2 page layout there is a line-up of 18 animals of varying colours but generally similar expressions. A change in the colour of the page can mean a whole different set of animals have disappeared into the background leaving parts of the animal visible.

You can also use it for counting, colours and expressions, the latter of which can lead to discussing feelings. Again Lucy asks for this book – a lot (yes she loves a lot of books but she asks for a few). It was interesting the discussion points it brought up. For example some concepts that you think would be easy – which animals are backwards (I got a demonstration of backwards from Lucy) but the actual concept of backwards lead to a discussion about how can you tell something is backwards. Also I found Lucy was making stories about the animals.  For example on one page one of the animals is crying and the next it isn’t, and Lucy was telling me how its mummy must have given it its blankie or some medicine. Amazing in its simplicity.

Who’s hiding by Satoru Onishi 978-1-877467-13-4 (Pbk) RRP: $18.99

One thought on “Live life to the Max and find out who’s hiding with Gecko Press

  1. richard 29 August 2008 / 3:03 pm

    I love Gecko Press books. They are quirky, wonderfully illustrated and have a refreshing flavour – a great part of a youngster’s reading diet!

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