10 Green Geckos by Phillip Gwynne ill by Lloyd Foye

There were ten green geckos living in our house,

but when one green gecko got taken by a mouse,

there were only nine green geckos living in our house.

There were ten green geckos living in our house,

but when one green gecko got taken by a mouse,

there were only nine green geckos living in our house.

Based on the rhyme, 10 green bottles, and offers a decreasing count as geckos one by one leave the house. The method of their leaving is humourous and the ending makes clear that no green geckos were harmed in the making of this story. Illustrations are colourful, full page and funny. The geckos have personality. Numbers are offered in words and symbol.

This is a delightful piece of nonsense and very Australian. Anyone who has ever slept in a room with a gecko will recognise the noises they make. The geckos may be stylised, and their activities fanciful, but there is plenty for a pre-schooler to chuckle at as they access counting in both words and numbers. Recommended for pre-schoolers and early primary children.

10 Green Geckos
10 Green Geckos, Phillip Gwynne ill Lloyd Foye Scholastic Press 2013 ISBN: 9781742833484

review by Claire Saxby, Children’s Author


Dr Quark, by Nancy Walker & Lloyd Foye

In the Serengeti National Park
There lives a vet called Doctor Quark
Her waiting room is filled each week
With groans and moans and piercing shrieks,
From animals, both sick and sore,
Upon the chairs and on the floor.

Dr Quark’s waiting room has animals of all types and with a wide range of problems – from an antelope too fat to leap, to a zebra with one big white spot. As they wait impatiently to see the vet, the waiting room gets noisier and more chaotic. How will Doctor Quark choose who gets to see her first?

This cute rhyming text is filled with funny images of strange ailments – a springbok that thinks she is a sheep, an eagle that quacks, and so on – which young children will love. All are brought to life with the colourful, funny illustrations of Llyod Foye.

This a great read-aloud title.

Dr Quark, by Nancy Walker & Lloyd Foye
Koala Books, 2004

Muddle in A Puddle,by Belinda Nadin

When the animals decide to leave the zoo and search for a new home, it is giraffe who leads the way, marching proud and strong. Camel brings up the rear, with the other animals calling to him to keep up.

Soon though, giraffe comes across an obstacle. There is a puddle across their path – a deep, wide puddle, that cannot be crossed. First Giraffe, then Rhinoceros, then Hyana and Meerkat fail to cross the puddle. They are in a muddle. Will camel be able to help them out?

Muddle in a Puddle is a cute new picture book by Belinda Nadin. The story is sweet, with a nice message about the unlikeliness of heroes. Although the rhythm in places seems a little strecthed, kids will love the silliness of the story and the outstanding illustrations of Lloyd Foye, who creates adorable characters and expressions.

A fun picture book.

Muddle in a Puddle, by Belinda Nadin, illustrated by Lloyd Foye
Koala Books, 2003

I'm Big Enough, by Sally Odgers

Joey Hopalong swears he is big enough to hop alone Wallaby Grove. His mother believes he is big enough. She kisses him goodbye and says she will see him when he gets there. But none of the animals Joey meets along the way believe that he is big enough to do it by himself.

First he is joined by Platypus, then by Wombat and Possum. All are sure he needs their help. It is only when they meet Kookaburra that Kookaburra proves to the other animals, and to Joey, that Joey is indeed big enough to hop alone.

I’m Big Enough, by Sally Odgers, is a gently humorous tale with a subtle message about differences and growing up. The delightful illustrations by Llyod Foye capture the colours of Australia’s landscape, with golden browns and greens prevalent.

Sally Odgers is a talented Tasmanian author who produces quality books for all ages. I’m Big Enough reaches her always high standards. A treasure.

I’m Big Enough, by Sally Odgers, illustrated by Lloyd Foye
Koala Books, 2002

The Thunder Egg Thief, by Sue Cason

Nick’s Mum needs a break, so Dad suggests a weekend in the country. With the caravan behind, Nick, his parents and his sister Emily, head off for a quiet weekend at Mount Perilous, which Nick thinks looks just like a sleeping dinosaur. When they stop for petrol at a nearby service station, the attendant – Sal – tells Nick to watch out for the perilosaurus. Apparently it’s their nesting season.

When the family go fossicking, Emily finds a beautiful fossil. Nick is jealous – he tries desperately to find one too. What he finds, however, is a thunder egg. His Dad tells him that this will be beautiful cut in two so that the coloured stripes inside the rock will be visible. Nick thinks the rock looks just like a dinosaur egg. But what would happen if the dinosaur wanted her egg back? He hears wailing and strange cries echoing through the bush and knows there’s only one thing to do.

The Thunder Egg Thief, by Sue Cason is an adventure tale which will appeal to kids with an interest in dinosaurs or fantasy. Well complemented with illustrations by Lloyd Foye, the story will be accessible to children taking their first steps from picture books towards novels.

The Thunder Egg Thief is one of six new Orange level Tadpole books from Koala Books, and is suitable for home collections, libraries and class room use. Tadpoles books provide graded reading opportunities for emergent readers, allowing teachers and parents to match children and books according to their reading level.

The Thunder Egg Thief, by Sue Cason, illustrated by Lloyd Foye
Koala Books, 2002.