Curiously good new books from Gecko Press

Everybody has a friend or family member like Hamster.  He loves being the center of attention, he’s selfish, and greedy.  His friends Rabbit, Snail, Squirrel, Mole and Hedgehog all know what he’s like but love him no matter what.  Reflections of a Solitary Hamster is Gecko Press’ first graphic novel, written by Astrid Desbordes and illustrated by Pauline Martin.  Through each quirky episode Hamster and his friends learn some important lessons about friendship, sharing, and that it is the thought that counts.  Gecko Press’ ‘curiously good books’ are always presented so beautifully and Reflections of a Solitary Hamster is no exception.  Great for children and teens but particularly adults as they will get the often subtle sense of humour.

Good for You, Good for Me by Lorenz Pauli and illustrated by Kathrin Scharer is one of my favourite Gecko Press books so far.  Dormouse meets Bear one day while he is walking along playing his flute.  Bear gives Dormouse his favourite red cushion so that he can have a play of his flute.  This deal is good for them both; Bear has the flute and Dormouse has a cushion to sit on.  It turns out that Bear can’t play the flute very well and so they swap back and decide to travel together.  They make a good pair and discover that if they work together things will be ‘good for you, good for me.’  The illustrations are delightful and show Bear and Dormouse playing together in the sun and the rain.  I especially like the black and white line illustrations of Bear dancing while Dormouse plays his flute.  This is a great books for sharing with young children and is a perfect bedtime story.

Are you sick of Twilight fever?

The new Twilight movie New Moon seems to be the thing that everybody is talking about at the moment.  Record-breaking movie takings are being reported on the TV, radio and blogs everywhere, the cast are being interviewed left, right and center, and all of the Twi-hards are coming out of the woodwork.  You can probably tell I’m not a fan and I’m sure I’m not the only one who is sick of all the attention that these books and movies are getting.  I can just see the publishers and movie producers rubbing their hands with glee.

Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great that people are reading the books, but it’s all the publicity that goes into making the whole thing so huge that I’m really against.  There are so many great books out there, but publishers think they’re onto a good thing with books such as Twilight and Harry Potter, and they milk them to death, putting all their marketing on one particular book or series.  There are plenty of books I can think of that are so much better written and are far greater stories than these blockbusters but they don’t get the attention that they should.

If you’re sick of the Twilight Saga and want to try something new, you could try some of these which we think are the best reads of the year for young adults:

You can find some more great reads in our Holiday Reading 2009 guide and don’t forget you can vote for your favourite book of the year here and go into the draw to win book vouchers.