Reading/Interest Level: Preschool
Author: Raymond Huber
Illustrator: Brian Lovelock
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Did you know that geckos eat their own skin? Gecko follows a little critter by the same name as it goes about its daily life, detailing its many daily activities. In a single day, a gecko could be shedding and eating its own skin, camouflaging, catching dinner, escaping from a scuffle with a rat (tail not intact), and finally defending its turf before settling down to a good night’s sleep.
Gecko is less a storybook and more a narrative-style piece of nonfiction. The relaxed watercolor illustrations depict visually what the text explains and make the daily activities of the gecko accessible for children to understand. This book would be well suited to a child interested in reptiles who is not quite ready for denser nonfiction books. It would be perhaps especially useful as part of a preschool curriculum teaching children about the diversity of animal habits and lifestyles. Outside of these contexts, the book has limited appeal since it lacks an engaging narrative and deals with facts reiterated twice with each event in the gecko’s day, once in a slightly more detailed paragraph below the main narrative.