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Gecko Press - publisher spotlight

Gecko Press is an independent, small-by-choice, publisher of children’s books translated from books by some of the best writers and illustrators in the world since 2004.

We choose books excellent in story, illustration and design, with a strong heart factor, and that can be read hundreds of times. Based in New Zealand, we are by nature an international business, both in what we publish and where we sell our books. Gecko Press has been represented in the UK by Bounce Sales & Marketing for 15 years.

Our books are always made with good, sustainably sourced paper with stitched bindings, often on dyslexia-friendly creamy paper with wide-line leading. We chose our books because they are already proven – they are commercially successful in multiple countries and languages, award-winning, long-selling and with heart.

“The New Zealand powerhouse that is Gecko Press can do no wrong in my eyes; through them I’ve discovered dozens of books, from board books to picture books to middle-grade novels” Phoebe Kosman, Candlewick Press

“Distinctive, quirky and exciting.” Cast of Thousands

“Speak to any bookseller, librarian or publisher about a Gecko Press book and they’ll rave about production values.” Idealog magazine

Check out this short video to see who we are and what we do

Free downloadable teacher notes

Many of our children’s books have free resources for use in the classroom. You can download a selection of teacher notes, our full catalogue, author Q&As and more in our digital pack.

Learn more about our new releases and classroom activities by subscribing to our newsletter. You can select our monthly newsletter and/or one tailored to schools and libraries.

Ages 4 to 7

A Perfect Wonderful Day with Friends by Philip Waechter

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This big-hearted picture book captures the warmth and fun of a spontaneous summer’s day with friends, where one lovely activity leads to another until they all go back home to bake a cake (two cakes!) to finish.

“It all adds up to a calm, happy, perfect, wonderful day that young readers and their parents will find almost as nice as the real thing.” The Wall Street Journal

Philip Waechter is one of Germany’s leading children’s author/illustrators with a beautifully classic illustration style.

Download free teacher notes here

Song of the River by Joy Cowley

In this resonant story from Joy Cowley, Cam the mountain boy follows the river from its trickling source in the snow all the way to the sea. The river leads him through forest, farms and towns to the salty wind of the sea. The dramatic landscapes are packed with detail to discover in the world of the river.

“With graceful, rhyming poetry, Cowley articulates the connectedness of nature, while Andrews renders the rush and earnestness of the boy’s journey through striated light, city smoke, and the broad, blue sea.” Publishers Weekly

Joy Cowley was shortlisted for the Hans Christian Andersen Award in 2018 and has a wide and loyal following in school and public libraries.

Download free teacher notes

Ages 6+

Duck, Death and the Tulip by Wolf Erlbruch

From award-winning author and illustrator, Wolf Erlbruch, comes one of the world’s best children’s books about grief and loss.

In a curiously heart-warming and elegantly illustrated story, a duck strikes up an unlikely friendship with Death. Duck and Death play together and discuss big questions. Death, dressed in a dressing gown and slippers, is sympathetic and kind and will be duck’s companion until the end.

Explaining the topic of death in a way that is honest, lightly philosophical and with gentle humour, this enchanting book has been translated into multiple languages, adapted into an animated movie and short film and performed on stages worldwide.

“The gold standard of picture books about death…this extraordinarily tender book manages to be both heart breaking and comforting.” The New York Times

Wolf Erlbruch received the Hans Christian Andersen Medal in 2006 and was the winner of the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award in 2017.

Download free teacher notes

Inside the Villains by Clotilde Perrin

Internationally bestselling, oversized lift-the-flap book that reveals the secrets of the most famous fairytale villains.

Explore if you dare! Take a look inside and discover the villainous tricks inside the heads of an ogre, a wolf and a witch. Lift the flaps to find out what’s beneath their disguise and who was the victim of their last meal (now comfortably settled inside their stomach!).

This exquisitely produced large fold-out book is like no other: a celebration of story that’s full of humour and detail on every page and has over 30 interactive elements that will mesmerise school children and independent readers.

Ages 10+

The Uprising by Eirlys Hunter

A follow-up to the internationally successful The Mapmakers’ Race—the Santander children are drawn into a community’s rebellion against a despot and use their mapping skills to avert an environmental scam. With resonant contemporary themes of revolution, environment and Indigenous land ownership, The Uprising is part detective story and part adventure.

Illustrated throughout with infographics and line drawings, this novel is great for sharing with children in Year 4 to Year 7 (8 – 12 years).

Download free teacher notes here

The Inkberg Enigma by Jonathan King

A graphic-novel mystery adventure for eight to fourteen-year-olds in which a girl and boy uncover the secret that has corrupted a town.

The Inkberg Enigma is a classic children’s adventure story about a fantastical sea creature and corruption with a strong filmic narrative.

“Terrific.” Neil Gaiman

Download free teacher notes here

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The Radio 2 Book Club on the Zoe Ball Breakfast Show

The BBC Radio 2 Book Club announced on 24 January that its new home is on the Zoe Ball Breakfast Show. The Radio 2 Book Club will feature a wide range of titles and authors, recommending great reads from both new and much-loved writers, encouraging listeners to perhaps try out a genre they might not have read before, and share their opinions and insights on the titles and great reads they’re enjoying right now.


How to start a reading group

Interested in joining a reading group or starting one of your own? Download our quick guide to getting started. You can also download icebreaker questions to help get your discussion started, and a social media guide to show how you can share your reading with others online.


Hive and The Reading Agency

The Reading Agency loves books, in every form, and we know you do too. We love it when people borrow books in every format from their brilliant local libraries. We love it when reading groups get exclusive free proofs from our publisher partners. We love it when readers pick up a pre-loved book from a second-hand bookshop for a song. And we also love it when you buy yourself or someone else a brand new book from a high street bookshop. We also know that buying online is quick and convenient...

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