Three of the best from Gecko Press

Gecko Press have been keeping up their tradition of producing English language versions of curiously good books from around the world.  Here are three of the best recent releases.

The Noisy Book by Soledad Bravi is a board book filled with bright, bold illustrations and lots and lots of noises (over 100 pages).  There are noises you would expect to find, like ‘The cat goes meow,’ ‘The horse goes neigh,’ and ‘The rooster goes cockadoodle doo.’ But what I like most are the noises you don’t expect, like ‘The cold goes aachoo,’ ‘Mummy goes kiss kiss,’ and ‘The power socket goes NO!’ This is the perfect book to share with babies and toddlers because everyone can enjoy making the noises.

Cover of The fierce little woman and the wicked pirateThe Fierce Little Woman and the Wicked Pirate is a newly illustrated edition of one of Joy Cowley’s most loved picture books.  I loved this book as soon as I set my eyes on it!  Sarah Davis‘ illustrations are absolutely stunning and she has captured Joy Cowley’s characters perfectly.  Thank you Gecko Press for giving this wonderful story new life.

H.O.U.S.E (or Habitable, Objects, Unique, Spatial, Extraordinary) by Aleksandra Machowiak and Daniel Mizielinski is a fascinating book about contemporary architecture for kids.  It’s a book for all those children (and adults) who are fascinated with buildings of all shapes and sizes.  Inside, you’ll find spiky houses, inflatable houses, houses in trees and houses underground, from all over the world.  The authors explain the inspiration behind the design of each house, as well as the materials used to build it, and where in the world it can be found.

These are just three of the latest and greatest books from Gecko Press.  I’m sure we can look forward to more curiously good books from Gecko Press next year.

If you are 7 years old…

Sheep With Boots
Sheep With Boots

… or 70; maybe in your 30s; a teenager, perhaps?

No matter your age, this little book will get you hooked.

A charming tale infused with Dutch folklore, some clever twists and the most stylish Wolf (in close competition with Harvey Keitel) which is a joy to read.

Written by Maritgen Matter with lovely eye-catching illustrations by Jan Jutte, another curiously good read from the people at Gecko Press.

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.

Delightful new picture books

We’ve been getting some delightful new picture books in the library lately.  Alot of picture books just pass you by, but every now and again there are some that stand out, whether that’s because it’s the latest book by a great author and illustrator or from a stand-out publisher.  Here’s just a couple of the latest and greatest.

Your Mother Didn’t Do That is a delightful New Zealand collaboration between author Sharon Holt and Brian Lovelock, the illustrator of the New Zealand Post Book Awards finalist book, Roadworks.  Holly’s dad decides to tell her a bedtime story about the night that she was born so Holly asks if she hatched out of an egg like a chicken.  Dad tells her if she were a new chick, her mum would have fluffed up her feathers and sat on her to keep her warm.  He tells her ‘Your mother wouldn’t do that.’  They go through all the animals they can think of until Holly’s dad finally tells her what her mother did do when she was born.  It’s a perfect bedtime story about the bond between mothers and their babies, and Brian Lovelock’s soft illustrations perfectly match the story.

My first impression of Ulf Nilsson’s When We Were Alone in the World was ‘What the?’  It starts with a boy who is waiting at the front gate of his school for his parents to pick him up.  He has just learnt to tell the time and he knows that he gets picked up at 3 o’clock.  When his Dad doesn’t arrive he walks home.  He gets home to find that the door to his house is locked and his parents are nowhere to be seen.  He comes to the conclusion that they are dead, probably run over by a truck, and so he sits on the steps and cries.  ‘I wasn’t even six years old and I was alone in the world,’ he says.  I thought this was a little strange considering it’s a children’s picture book, and so I had to keep reading to find out how the story ended.  I won’t give the ending away (you’ll just have to read it to find out) but needless to say, it’s positive.  It is actually quite a clever story that is warm and funny, especially at the end when you realise what has happened.  When We Were Alone in the World is another fantastic Gecko Press publication.  If you haven’t already discovered some of their translations of ‘curiously good books from around the world,’ we have a great selection of them in the library.  Also, if you loved Joy Cowley and Gavin Bishop’s Snake and Lizard, look out for Friends: Snake and Lizard, coming in October.