Gecko Press Blog

Welcome to a combobulation of articles from our favourite thinkers, stories from behind the scenes, lists of good books, Gecko Press news and things that amuse us from time to time.

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Book list: Books featuring disabled characters

Giana Torrez_El Paso library

We asked Giana Torrez, El Paso Library, Texas, for a list of books she likes to recommend that feature characters with disabilities—a broad topic, of course, as shown by her list that includes main characters with autism, dyslexia and physical disabilities.

Tickle My Ears series: Q&A with Jörg Mühle

first sketch for Tickle My Ears

An interview with Jörg Mühle where he discusses how he created the Tickle My Ears series, including his illustration technique and trialing version of the story with his daughter. “It was amazing. My book was working! Well, in a way. It didn’t make her go to sleep. But she really loved it.”

Duck’s Backyard: Q&A with Ulrich Hub

Ulrich Hub © Stefan Schugt

Ulrich Hub trained as an actor and now lives in Berlin, Germany. He works as a director for stage and writes plays, screenplays and children’s books, which have won numerous awards.     What inspired the story of the blind chicken and the duck with a limp? When we use these phrases in German we… Read more »

Book list: Feelings and Emotions

Emma at Nook Books

Feelings can be tough to talk about for children—even for grown ups, I always find myself recommending children’s books as a way to navigate through those complicated, scary, and overwhelming feelings. These are all picture books, and they are all great conversation starters for any age.

On orphans in children’s books

What is it about orphans in books? They are tragic, with backgrounds mysterious, bruised, like Jane Eyre. They are vulnerable and burdened, like Oliver; or have learned to be trickier than the trickiest, like the Artful Dodger. They are steely, sad, often hungry with large eyes. They’re tragically young and terrifically youthful. They are tantalisingly free.

The Ape Star: Q&A with Frida Nilsson

Frida Nilsson children's writer

The story of Jonna and Gorilla is about growing up with a parent who is not the norm. How one so often wishes that one’s parent could be more like all the others—and how one realizes, as the years pass, the advantages of being the child of someone who is an individual and walks their own path.

What makes these the best children’s books? (Panel discussion)

Unity Books Panel information

Join us at Unity Books next Wednesday 10 August at 12.30 pm to hear two librarians, two publishers and a bookseller talk about shortlisted books for the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults.

Simon the Rabbit activities

In the kitchen with Simon

Join Simon the Rabbit in these cheeky activities!

Starting with the international bestselling picture book Poo Bum, and now an animated series screening worldwide, the Simon series stars a cheeky rabbit who always gets what he wants.

The following activity sheets are downloadable. Please print out as many as you like.

Book list: Sibling rivalry | Tales on Moon Lane

Tales of Moon Lane shop front

Sibling relationships can be full of fun and complexity, which is why we always love when they take centre stage in a book. There are also so many different kinds of families and siblings from brothers, sisters, half siblings and step siblings. It was really hard to choose this list because there are so many fantastic books out there, but these are just a few of our favourites.

Free Kid to Good Home: Q&A with Hiroshi Ito

Child and dog in cardboard box

Hiroshi Ito was born in Tokyo, Japan, and graduated from Waseda University with a degree in education. “A good children’s book has depth, despite its simplicity. The reader should find something new every time they open the book. They will also see different aspects depending on their feelings or situation at that time.”

Do you love curiously good books for children?

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