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Friends of Gecko Press

At Gecko Press, we believe that one good book can spark a lifetime love of reading.

We have built a digital and real-life community where people can share knowledge about great books for children (not just our books) and find creative ways to encourage children to love to read.

Friends of Gecko Press takes books to places they are not normally found and works with anyone who wants to encourage a child to love to read. This community brings together the entire book ecosystem – libraries, booksellers, schools, families, children.

If you want our help to organize an event, create a book club, or if you have ideas to promote children’s books and reading, please become a Friend of Gecko Press and share them with us.

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Welcome to the Book Club

Gecko Press Blog:
Time to be brave: publishing in a pandemic

 

Julia Marshall started Gecko Press in 2005 when she discovered that Ulf Stark’s classic Can You Whistle, Johanna? had been translated into 20 languages but not English…and that was the start of being brave for Gecko Press.

15 years on and in the middle of a pandemic, Julia reflects on publishing children’s books.

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Click on the image to download the activity sheet.

Activity of the month
Book list: Stories that teach kindness

Book List of the month: Stories that teach kindness

This month’s book list is from Bridget Schaumann, Chair of the Dunedin Writers and Readers Festival Trust.

As Bridget says on the books in her list, “[these books] melted my cynical old heart, I guarantee you’ll feel that too with these treasures.”

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To receive a reading journal, send us an email at [email protected] with ‘Gecko Press Reading Journal’ subject line and your home address. Currently available to New Zealand club members only. Produced with support from the Wright Family Foundation.

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Book Talk

50% off Winter Sale

Choose from more than 30 much-loved picture books and novels at half price to snuggle up with this winter. But be quick, there’s limited stock! By popular demand, the winter sale has been extended to 24th July 2022.   Click here to see the full list of books on sale.  

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Book Lists

Book list: LGBTQIA+ children’s books

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!

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Q&As

A Perfect Wonderful Day with Friends: Q&A with 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.

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Q&As

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.

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Events

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

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.

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Book Talk

A dinosaur by another name | Translation

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.

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Q&As

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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Book Lists

Book list: dinosaurs, fossils and the people who found them

There are so many excellent books about dinosaurs and fossils that it is very difficult to pick just a few to feature. Our scientific knowledge of extinct animals has increased exponentially as researchers continue to discover amazing fossils and use modern tools to gather insights about their lives.

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Book Talk

Humour, absurdity and improbable friendships

By Catharina Valckx. My books can start with an idea, a word or an image. Ideas come into my mind, and sometimes I feel—Ah! Here’s one that interests me!

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Book Lists

Book list: The books that sparked the career of Catharina Valckx

I discovered children’s literature in the form of picture books in the local library when my son was young. I knew a few good books from my childhood, but I didn’t imagine they would be just the tip of the iceberg. Some books were revelations!

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