Sunday, 21 April 2013

Ten Green Geckos


Ten Green Geckos by Phillip Gwynne, illustrated by Lloyd Foye (Scholastic Press)
PB RRP $14.99
ISBN 978-1-74283– 348-4
Reviewed by Jenny Heslop

Ever since I saw my first wild gecko on holiday many years ago, they have fascinated me and held a place in my heart. They are such cute, awkward creatures with big eyes and toes. And the geckos in Ten Little Geckos are super cute. I think they’ll be a huge hit with children.

Based on the popular driving and campfire song Ten Green Bottles, this is a counting book with a difference; the count is backwards. As the geckos do the sorts of things geckos do – walking upside down, eating flies and climbing the walls – they drop out of the story one by one.

There were eight green geckos swimming in the sink
But when one green gecko had a bit too much to drink
        There were only seven green geckos swimming in the sink.

I found the text a little bumpy in parts. The rhymes were sometimes slightly off and as I’m used to the rhythm of Ten Green Bottles it was hard to read without wanting to add a repeat line at the beginning of each stanza. But this was a small issue and the humour and exuberance of the words far outweighed these bumps.

I loved the bright illustrations. The geckos (and the mouse) are playful and fun. Look out for the gecko that drops off the ceiling fan!

Children from two years and up are going to love this book, laugh out loud and learn their backwards counting. It is a very entertaining read.

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