This is a shameless endorsement. I am, however, not the BBC, so can express my love for Gecko without having to give Disney a right to reply.

Gecko Press is a small New Zealand-based publisher of picture books from around the world — in translation. If you’re not intimately involved in publishing, you may not realize what a huge deal it is to publish picture books in translation. It happens very rarely, which means English speakers miss out on some truly amazing books.

I first discovered Gecko via Wolf Erlbruch’s life-changing Duck Death and The Tulip, and  thanks to Philippa Johnson at Bounce! marketing, I continue to receive books from Gecko’s new list.

Through Gecko, I’ve discovered Jutta Bauer and Ulf Stark (among many others), both shortlisted for the Astrid Lindgren prize this year. If you don’t know them, make an effort. You won’t regret it.

But the subject today is Blexbolex, a wondrous French illustrator who lives in Berlin. He has two books out with Gecko now, and I love them both to distraction.

If you’re not sure his books are for you or your children, this review from Amazon (1*) should convince you:

“I was excited when I saw this book on the shelf in the children’s area of our library. The illustrations looked great. I randomly flipped it open and the first page I saw featured “Executioner.” The book also features “Corpse,” “Orphan,” and “Slave.” While it promises that the readers will make connections between the people, I wonder what was implied when he juxtaposed “Amputee” with “Cyclops.” This is not appropriate for children in any way.”

Yes, Amputee/Cyclops. Quite a dangerous juxtaposition. I know legions of cyclopses who would take violent exception to comparison with amputees (it’s not like they started out with two eyes, after all). As for Orphans and Slaves, well. The less said the better. Obviously.

Friends, fans, book lovers everywhere…you know what to do.




7 thoughts on “I love Gecko Press

  1. Library Mice 7 years ago

    They are rather marvellous, aren’t they? My son was fascinated. He loved the Prankster.

  2. Lesley Martin 7 years ago

    These look like great additions to our picture books section in the senior school library, thanks for posting them You sent me to Duck, Death and the Tulip a while ago and it is stunning.

    1. Kirsten Baron 7 years ago

      Thank you, Lorna, that’s wonderful – especially the threat at the end of the letter.

  3. Gecko Press 7 years ago

    Wow! We love shameless endorsements…and we didn’t even pay you a cent! Thanks Meg, and thanks Pip at Bounce for sending our books to you.

  4. Christina Wilsdon 7 years ago

    I *love* the Thurber letter. What a curmudgeon, and what a great photo to go with the text (a grumpy, smoking Thurber). E.B. White wrote a great letter once, too, in which he urged a pupil to tell everybody not to write to that bad old author until he produced another book (because answering all the fan mail was preventing him from working).

    Oh, but I’d love to be in the position of feeling churlish about too much fan mail–it’s rather enviable!

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