Lerner has the extreme privilege of distributing unique and celebrated children’s books from publishers both national and international. We’d like to take this opportunity to begin introducing them to you one at a time. First up is Gecko Press!
Gecko Press is an independent, small-by-choice, publisher of children’s books translated from some of the best writers and illustrators in the world.
Gecko Press chooses books excellent in story, illustration and design, with a strong heart. They encourage us to be thoughtful and inquisitive, and offer different—sometimes challenging, often funny—ways of seeing the world. They are printed on high-quality, sustainably sourced paper with stitched bindings so they can be read and re-read.
Gecko Press is based in New Zealand, and their books are sold throughout the world.
Where it started
Gecko Press started in 2004.
“Twenty years ago, the idea of choosing books from other languages, and translating them into English was considered madness—though I didn’t know that at the time,” says publisher Julia Marshall.
At that time, 1% of books published in the UK were said to have non-English beginnings. “When I reported this number to the publisher of New Zealand writer Margaret Mahy, he said: ‘I’m surprised that figure is so high.’”
“Then I found out that a classic book by one of Sweden’s best writers for children, Ulf Stark, Can You Whistle, Johanna? had been translated into 20 languages but not English … And that was the beginning of Gecko Press.”
Gecko Press now publishes up to 20 books per year, focusing on bringing the best books from around the world into English.
How Gecko Press chooses
We choose books to kick start a lifetime of reading, and books that tickle our funny bones.
Sometimes we choose books that ask big questions.
We choose books about friendship, and books with a lot of human nature, by writers and illustrators we love.
Some of our books don’t behave (even when they know how to).
We choose books that slow you down, or speed you up . . .
. . . books that tells us things in beautiful ways.
All our books are already proven—they are commercially successful in multiple countries and languages, award-winning, long-selling, and with heart.
Curiously good children’s books!