Sunday, February 9, 2014

Glorious books from Gecko Press

These two delicious books felt like they'd been custom picked for my babes.  Two very different tales, each in their way perfectly suited to my children.

Pom & Pim - by Lena Landstrom & illustrated by Olof Landstrom

At two, Garland is slowly increasing his concentration span for longer stories, but it's the shorter ones that he likes best.  Those stories that offer him the opportunity to contribute his thoughts and discussion points (I'm talking '2yo' discussion points here: 'Booon, pop.' and so on).  Pom & Pim was just. perfect.  The story is so simple, a sweet little character experiencing a series of good and bad luck.  On a surface level, this concept is already great.  Little ones can easily identify which events might be considered 'good' or 'bad', and can probably relate to the trauma of falling on one's face, or getting a bellyache.  This concept is layered with a 'good out of bad' message, with sweet little Pom finding ways to overcome his misery and turn his luck.  Underlying this is the thought that maybe it's not luck after all, but merely how we react to adverse moments.

Whew!  That's a lot to fit into a children's book with so few words!  I was super, super impressed.  I also couldn't leave this review without mentioning the illustrations.  I have yet to come across a Gecko Press title with illustrations that I didn't love, and Pom & Pim is no exception.  Quirky, simple and yet subtly sophisticated too, just like the story.  All in all, a very appealing book.

Watch Out for the Crocodile - by Lisa Moroni & illustrated by Eva Eriksson

Eleanor is cuckoo for this book, and it's not hard to explain why.  The main character, Tora, could be any imaginative, nature-loving 4-5 year old, and is therefore instantly relatable.   Like Eleanor, Tora has a fascination with scary animals, and is desperate to arrive at the forest (where she and her father are to camp) in order to begin animal spotting.  When nature doesn't quite provide (do ants count?), Tora uses her imagination to depict exciting beasts and mystical creatures, and the trick now is to get her dad to see them too.

This story says so much about the distinctly different worlds adults and children inhabit.  We already know this, but it doesn't hurt to be reminded on a nightly basis.  If a kid tells you that a gigantic rock is really a bunch of sunbathing hippos, well, Kid is correct y'all (also, a good reminder put our electronic devices away more often, eeek).  I love love looooooved that this story features a father/daughter adventure, of the very best kind!  I felt super inspired to plan some one on one overnight camping trips for later in the year.

And the illustrations?  LOVE 'EM!!  Of course.

Two absolute favourites, thank you so much to Gecko Press for sending review copies!  Check out the Gecko Press website for even more delicious picture books.

1 comment:

  1. Too new to even be found at my library, just yet! Thanks for sharing...will look again later!