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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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.”

Book list: LGBTQIA+ children’s books

Tell Me butterfly(c) Anke Kuhl

What we really enjoy about these picture books/board-books is the casual inclusion of LGBTQIA+ folks. It’s wonderful to have books where queer characters are normalised within another narrative. We really wish there were more for us to choose from, especially from local publishers. It’s 2022 after all!

A Perfect Wonderful Day with Friends: Q&A with Philip Waechter

Philip Waechter

When I was a child, my best friend lived with about 15 people in a shared house, a big old villa. It had absolutely everything! There was a big garden with fruit trees, and a cosy treehouse.

Lionel: Q&A with Éric Veillé

When I created the character of Lionel, I tried to reconnect with the deep feelings of two- and three-year-olds, and I found myself confronting some contrasting and powerful emotions! It’s a very rich universe that you don’t always find in stories for toddlers, where things are often soft and kind.

Inclusivity and diversity highlighted in Asian Festival of Children’s Content 2022

wolf looking at the feet of a very large creature

The Asian Festival of Children’s Content based in Singapore runs from 26-29 May. This year’s festival theme is Lit Up! It includes sessions on inclusivity and diversity, mental wellness, the role of stories and books as a coping mechanism.
Gecko Press publisher Julia Marshall is chairing a session on translating change—one story at a time and will also be in the session on humour in children’s books.

Book list: 36 popular books for 8 to 10-year-olds

Dr Mal Thompson is the journal convenor for the Forum NZ, a literacy-focused journal that the Otago Literacy Association is responsible for. Mal has held many roles including with the University of Otago Education College, secondary school English teacher, PhDPresident of OLA, and also a trustee on Ignition Children’s Festival. This is her list of… Read more »

A dinosaur by another name | Translation

Leilong as umbrella

By Rachel Lawson, publisher at Gecko Press. When we translate a book into English from another language, one of the first questions for the translator is the names of the characters—and often that affects the title too.

The Secrets of Cricket Karlsson: Q&A with Kristina Sigunsdotter

“When I was eleven I used to pretend I was a boy a lot, and I was longing for love. All I wanted to do was to play-wrestle with my friend Michael. He had bleached hair and could play Nirvana songs on his guitar. But I was so tall and skinny it was hard to get boys interested. They liked the short and cute girls, not ones with cricket legs like me.”

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