Tag Archives: Gecko Press

A delightful bundle of Gecko Press books with TWO hidden poem challenges for you

Four gorgeous books from Gecko Press to share!

 

The illustrations are

s   c   i   n   t   i   l   l   a   t   i   n  g .

The stories are

m   o   u   t   h   w   a   t   e   r   i   n   g.

Which means I gobbled them UP in a F L A S H.

And then I came back for a   l o n g          s   l   o   w       feast.

 

Thanks Gecko Press!

 

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Bathtime for Little Rabbit by Jörg Mühle is a small board book for very young children about a rabbit that needs a bath so he gets to be SQUEAKY clean.  I love the way Little Rabbit gets dried. This is a FUN read.

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The Lost Kitten is a scrumptious picture book by Lee with illustrations by Komako Sakai. I loved reading this book, because as you know from my children’s poems, we have cats. In fact Charlie arrived at OUR door lost and hungry and wanted to stay with us for EVER and EVER. We seemed to become a magnet for lost and hungry kittens, but now we live in the country we are too far away.

In this story though, a mother cat brings her hungry kitten to Hina’s place because she knows it needs looking after. You will see it is the cutest little ball of fluff that deserves a warm and cosy cat basket.

Just like us, Hina and her mum feed the cat and make it a cat box and take it to the vet.

Just like us, the kitten makes Hina very, very happy.

But NOT like us (and Charlie), the sweetest cutest little ball of kitten fluff goes missing.

I especially loved the illustrations by Komako Saki. She is a famous and much-loved illustrator in Japan where she lives. You feel like you are inside the story when you look at the pictures, because she knows just how to paint how Hina feels.

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Bruno: Some of the more interesting days in my life so far is a splendiferous read by Catharina Valckx. There are six linked stories with very cool illustrations by Nicolas Hubesch that make me want to get my pencils and draw.

Catharina has written over 30 books and is published in over 11 languages and has been nominated for the Astrid Lindgren Awards 4 times.

Nicolas Hubesch lives in PARIS where he also draws comics. I LOVELOVELOVELOVE his drawings. They do have a PARIS feel about them.

The first story starts like this: ‘The peculiar day started out as an ordinary day.’

This is how poems start sometimes and it means you can begin with what you know and end up somewhere rather marvelous. Catharina has a very BOUNCY imagination because Bruno gets followed by a flying fish that is a tincy bit lost and is nowhere near the ocean. In fact this is a story of strange things in an ordinary day, AND to make it especially GOOD – normal things on a normal day.

In ‘A rainy day,’ Poor old Bruno finds his house is just as wet inside as it is outside when it is RAINING RAINING RAINING. All his friends turn up WET WET WET and EAT EAT EAT all his food. Everyone makes a MESS MESS MESS.

We get to read about:

A peculiar day

A rainy day

A day when the power went out

A much less interesting day

An almost perfect day

A stupid day (that ends pretty well)

This is a very INTERESTING book to read!

 

 

a    l i t t l e   c h a l l e n g e   f o  r   y o u        (YO – Y8 in NZ)

 

I LOVE LOVE LOVE these titles so much, I am challenging you to use one as the title for a poem (You can do more than one!). Let your imagination BOUNCE with what you know and what you make up!

 

Send to paulajoygreen@gmail.com by 5th MAY. I will post some favourites on MAY 10th and have a copy of the book for one reader.

Include your name, age, year and name of school.

Put GECKO challenge in the subject line of the email please.

 

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I am a HUGE fan of Joy Cowley and Gavin Bishop and I especially love their Snake and Lizard books.

 

So on a very wet Sunday afternoon I gobbled up the new one: Helper and Helper.

 

Gavin’s illustrations are sheer beauty.

Joy’s stories are warm and wise and witty. Her sentences are like clear shiny streams.

 

Snake and Lizard are full to the brim with life and show us the power of friendship. Being friends is bumps and hills and new days and arguments and listening and kindness and discoveries.

When I read these stories I fill with warmth and good feelings and just want to write poems or even give stories a go.

 

a n o t h e r   c h a l l e n g e

I LOVE LOVE LOVE these stories so much I am challenging you to write a ‘Snake and Lizard’ poem (You can do more than one!). Read the book first to get inspired by the characters. Make up what happens. It can be something very small and curious.

 

Send to paulajoygreen@gmail.com by 5th MAY. I will post some favourites on MAY 10th and have a copy of the book for one reader.

Include your name, age, year and name of school.

Put SNAKE and LIZARD challenge in the subject line of the email please.

 

PS: I won’t answer your emails until May as I will be away!

Daniel and Gemma review Gecko’s Annual: Sometimes it feels like it was made in crazy town – but in a good way!

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‘ Thank you for sharing about this book, we were able to get it from the library, but might not have found out about it if you hadn’t put it on your blog 🙂’

Good to hear my blog is finding readers for good books!

I invited you to review you this book and am posting these two – beautifully written with excellent doorways into the Annual.

I am sending Gemma and Daniel a book token so they can go hunting for another book treasure!

I think next year we might do more reviews of NZ books on the blog!

 

The Gecko Press Annual

Edited by Kate De Goldi and Susan Paris, Gecko Press, 2016

The sparkling golden images on the front of this brightly coloured book make you just want to open it and sneak a peak.  Inside you will find excerpts from lots of cool stories, which make you want to hunt them down to read more.

It is a cool book because it has so many different types of writing such as graphic stories, poems, shirt stories, plays, instructions, information, games and even music.  I even had a go at playing the song – it was fun!  The illustrations are really cool and a little bit wacky.

My favourite part was the hints and tips from Mrs. Mo’s Monster, because it told you what to do to improve your writing – and how to draw the monster!

What I love about this annual is that every time you pick it up, you find something new to read.  I recommend this book for anyone who likes funny and quirky things to read, probably best for 7 years and up.  Pick up a copy and have a look for yourself!

Gemma, age 10, Adventure School, Wellington

The Gecko Press Annual is a book of fun.  It is good to read because it has lots of different things in it.  There are things in it from lots of well known NZ authors and illustrators.  It has comics, crafts, stories, plays and maniac pictures. Sometimes it feels like it was made in crazy town – but in a good way!  My favourite part was the comics. People who like to pick up books again and again to look for different things would love this book.  I think it is good for ages 8 – 15.

Daniel, aged 8, Adventure School, Wellington

PS: If you live in Auckland you can go and hear Susan and Kate talk about the Annual and books for children at The National Library in Auckland.
Come along and hear Kate and Susan talk about the current children’s literature landscape and why it inspired them to make Annual

When: Thursday 17 November, 5.00–6.30pm
Where: National Library of New Zealand, 8 Stanley Street, Auckland

Please RSVP here: petra@geckopress.com

The Gecko Press Annual is a sumptuous swirl and it got me puzzling (and there’s a challenge with a book voucher for you!)

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Annual edited by Kate De Goldi and Susan Paris, Gecko Press, 2016

 

(pitched at 9 to 12 year olds)

 

If I had opened the Gecko Press Annual when I was ten I would have jumped a jig of joy under the Christmas tree.

I would have loved the bright orange cover, the gold floating leaves and bird.

I would have loved the sumptuous swirl of words and illustrations inside that meant before I read I would have to do an awful lot of looking.

 

When I was ten, I would have wanted the Annual to last and last for a whole year. I wouldn’t have known what to read first. Probably the poems first and the activities second.

 

Now that I am way-old, I still need to look at the Annual for ages before I start reading it.

This is because the Annual is very very beautiful. It is a very special book.

 

There are three poems written by poets (Jenny Bornholdt, Tim Upperton and James Brown) who usually write adult poetry books. I am a big fan of their poetry. There is also a handful of ninja-rhyme poems by Michael Petherick. The poems are like chalk and cheese. They give you  different feelings as you read. One is thoughtful and slightly mysterious, one is madcap crazy and one is like a wonky funny found poem that is all made-up.

I find the whole question of children’s poetry fascinating -as you know! Some people say when you write a poem it should be for anyone – child or adult. This is a very popular point of view. Most poets I know think like this. I guess I feel like a fish out of water because when I write poems for children, my head fills with all the children in all the schools I visit and I feel like I am writing for them. As I write, I am wanting the words to be so infectious that children will want to jump for joy and race out and read and write poems. They feel ALIVE with poetry.

 

p o e t r y   is a   wan   der     playground for children

 

When I write poems for adults, I write for myself first. I am not writing because I want adults to jump for joy and race out and read and write poems. I don’t think about the reader at all. It all seems very different and mysterious and puzzling.

… so the Annual got me thinking about writing poems … and where I fit as a poet

 

For the annual, the poets were given starting points for their poems – as everybody in the Annual was (a bit like I do on Poetry Box!). This what happens now for School Journals.

So it’s not a book where people send in what they have written – but a book where authors  (and comics, and illustrators and all the rest) are commissioned to do something in particular. I think that gives the Annual a particular feel. A special feel. Like an exhibition with a curator. Not a lucky dip.

 

There are so many different kinds of things in the Annual, it is like a magnificent magic box. You might fall upon a painting or a photograph or a comic strip or a very cool craft idea from the fabulous Fifi Colston.

 

My favourite story is from one of my favourite NZ children’s authors, Barbara Else: ‘Tingirl and the Crying Time.’ The story features Assistant Squint with apple stuck in his teeth, Madam Upright with a tooth that glinted silver and Tingirl who yearns to turn into a Realgirl. Oh so imaginative and deliciously written, it will make you think about robots in a whole new light. Wonderful! Gorgeous illustrations by Kieran Rynhart.

 

I also loved Paul Beavis‘s guide to visual storytelling. Do I want to give it a go? Yes!!!!

 

….. have I read the whole Annual? No! Have I tried all the activities? No! I am like that ten year-old girl because I want to make the Annual last and last.

 

 

I would love to post some reviews by children of the Annual.  Give it a go! send your review to paulajoygreen@gmail.com.

Include your name, year, age and school

Put Annual review in email subject line

I will have a book voucher for my favourite review and a copy of The Letterbox cat for another reviewer.

Deadline :  November 1oth

Three gorgeous Gecko picture books to tickle your toes – and a very good Gecko challenge for a hungry hunter-reader

It is always such a treat to open a Gecko picture book because I can guarantee the book will give me a warm book glow. And when I get a warm book glow I am ready to do anything!

Today I reread three in a row. So you might just want to go Geckohunting in bookshops and libraries to find these little gems.

 

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The first book, If I Was a Banana, is written by Alexandra Tylee. She has written two cookbooks because she is the owner and chef at the fabulous Pipi restaurant in the Hawkes Bay. They make very very good food! This is her first book for children.

The illustrator, Kieran Rhynhart, lives in Wellington and illustrated the very amazing New Zealand Art Activity Book. The pictures in If I Was a Banana are magical – they have that special glow that make you want to look and look and look. Gorgeous.

I love this book so much because it is very simple and very perfect. A young child imagines what they would be like if they were something else. For example:

‘If I were a banana I would be that one,

all yellow and fat and full of banana.’

 

The boy imagines what he might be like if he were a bird or mountain or a cloud for starters. If you like beautiful writing and illustrations that give you goosebumps then this is the book for you.

 

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The second book is That’s Not a Hippopotamus! is written by Juliette MacIver and Illustrated by Sarah Davis. I am a big fan of Juliette’s writing because she fills her pen with bounce and leap and verve. Her imagination cartwheels and her sentences sing. Sarah’s illustrations are pretty cool too.

A teacher, her class and a zookeeper are on the hunt for a missing hippo – easier said than done when the children keep mistaking every animal they see for a hippo. The children are so skiddadlebubble excited they think the elephant is a hippo … and the giraffe is a hippo!

You will have to read the book to see whether they ever discover the right animal … maybe a little boy called Liam has something to do with it!

This is a fun read from one of my favourite New Zealand children’s authors. If you like words that dance and stories that leap then this is the book for you.

 

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The third book is the book for all of us who love dogs because it is A Day with Dogs and every page is steaming with dogs. It reminds me of Richard Scarry books because every page is very busy – it takes ages to turn the page. I liked hunting for my favourite dog. There’s the flashest dog house I have ever seen. The  bathroom is a disaster zone with six dogs in the tub, the shower on and the water overflowing.

You get to count things and follow a dog alphabet.

You get to see dogs at work, playing sport, making art, having a birthday, going up the mountain – and a million other things.

The author, Dorothée de Monfreid, is from France. Apparently she is very good on the ukelele.

If you like dogs and busy books then this is the book for you.

 

Gecko Press here

and if you want to get a stack of Gecko books:

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Two FABULOUS new books from Gecko Press – a super rabbit and a not-hippopotamus

What a treat when I get a parcel of books from Gecko Press.

Here are two new picture books you might like to check out (I loved them both!):

 

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Super Rabbit

by Stephanie Blake.

 

Stephanie (she’s from the USA but lives in France ) wrote the ULTRA popular Poo Bum. Open the book and you will be in a world of EYE poPPing colour.

When his mum asks him to get up, he says he is super rabbit but his first KAPOW action is not very SUPER!

There is no way this rabbit wants to do ORDINARY things.

He wants to HUNT villains but will have the COURAGE he needs?

Wait and see what happens when he finds the COLD and DARK of a hollow tree!

Wait and see what happens when SOMETHING sharp gets stuck in his finger!

I gobbled this book up in a flash – it is bright wordDAZZLING fun!

 

 

 

 

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That’s Not a Hippopotamus!

by Juliet MacIver and Sarah Davis

 

A local author and illustrator have come up with a winning combination.

I gobbled this book up in flash too with its scrumptious illustrations and zingpinging words. Rhyme plays a big part and darts and dashes all over the line.

A group of children and their teacher are on the hunt for a hippo at Don’s safari but

there is a lot of CONFUSION about what a hippo looks like. So all kinds of animals look lik they might be a hippo but are so NOT hippos.

A very very fun read from a very very cool local writer. The illustrations zoom with LIFE!

Meet Franky: a fabulous story from Gecko Press

franky franky

 

Franky is madcap story written and illustrated by Leo Timmers.

Leo was born in Belgium and started drawing comics when he was twelve. Gecko Press has had a few of his picture books translated (Bill Nagelkirke translated this one) to publish.

 

The story is ABSOLUTE fun. It is about Sam and his love of robots.

Ha! Sam thinks robots ‘live on a faraway planet’ but nobody agrees with him. People laugh at such an idea. Ha!

So Sam gets bits and bobs and builds something that will understand him … meet robot extraordinaire, Franky.

Time for fabulous robot play.

Time to discover whether robots do belong on another planet!

This book is perfect for younger readers who love zesty imaginations, zippy illustrations and making things out of bits and bobs. Such a fabulously fun story.

Welcome back to Poetry Box – Term 4 – I am on the road, and in the air, have a delicious surprise from Gecko Press and have a terrific challenge for you

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Look what has just arrived in my post box — a gorgeous bundle of books from Gecko Press. I can’t wait to read them and tell you about them. I started reading Shhh! I’m Sleeping immediately and started oohing and aaahing on every page. It is a gorgeous, gorgeous book. Thank you Gecko Press. And I am taking Barbara Else‘s book with me this week on plane ride number one! Will let you know what I think.

 

This term I am going to be away so often, I won’t be able to post every Monday. I am off to Gisborne, Dunedin, Queenstown, Stewart Island and Marlborough. It will be lucky dip time on Poetry Box so keep your eyes out for my posts and surprises. I will post challenges here and there, along with other poetry things.

I am giving you a challenge with a long deadline so you can get busy my poetry idea.

 

I have a copy of The Treasury to give away, a book voucher for a child and a book voucher for a class that sends a class set.

 

Your     M o o d   P o e m s   and  editing challenge!

 

  1. Try writing a little suite ( a bunch!)  of mood poems where you never say what the mood is.

2. Collect detail and words before you write each poem.

3. Your challenge is to find good detail to give clues to the mood.

4. You might show the mood of a place or an event or a person or a memory.

5. I am challenging you to write poems that sound good when I read them aloud.

6. I want you to do a careful editing job on these poems to find the best words for the job.

7. Put the poem away for a week then go back to it. I put mine away for months!

8. Which words can you improve?

9. Test out three endings. What does the ending do to the reading?

10. Test your similes.

11. Test out three titles.

12. Give it to a friend and get them to describe the mood of the poem to you.

13. Read your poem aloud and listen for the bits that sound great and no quite so good.

14. All the poems might explore tha same mood in different ways or take a different mood each time.

15. Play with how you set the poem out (the form of the poem). try standard ways, try inventive ways.

 

DEADLINE for your Mood-Poems Challenge: Friday November 13th

Send to paulajoygreen@gmail.com. Include your name, year, age and name of school. You can include your teacher’s name and email.

PLEASE say it’s for the Mood-Poem challenge. Put in the subject line of the email please.

I will post my favourites and have a book for a poet (Year 0 to Year 8) and a book voucher for another poet and a class.

 

 

happy poem days

from Paula Green