Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve
Some very young children, in their exuberant joy of living, are driven by ego and unrestrained pursuit of all they enjoy or interests them.
In this story of a gecko, who has a similar failure to consider his fellow geckos, eventually finds he is not popular. Under the illusion that he has talent as an entertainer, he constantly practises, singing very loudly and hoping for stardom one day.
His disturbing his neighbours incessantly leads to his having to go somewhere away from others. He arrives at the Red Canyon. As he begins his routine, the echo responds louder than his own voice. He is appalled by how badly it sounds, not realising it is indeed he who is producing this harsh noise!
A helpful butterfly explains that he is being echoed in the rocky canyon and he is shocked when he considers how his neighbours must have suffered, being subjected to his bumptious behaviour and misplaced confidence in his talent. Gecko learns he must consider others, not just himself. One gets what one gives, he now knows. Karma in other words.
The most striking aspect of the book is of course, the vibrant illustrations – larger than life.
The colours are fluorescent pinks, greens and brightest of tropical colours in a riotous page after page. which suits the ‘over the top’ extravagance of Gecko’s antics.
Young children love eyes, and there are plenty. Each page has crowds of them.
Whether children will absorb the message is debatable, but the book makes a lively effort to convey it.
Rachel Bright (perfect name for the author of such a lavishly coloured book) and Jim Field have together produced an attractive and entertaining story which the very young would relate to, especially if they have their own aspirations to perform, as many exposed to talent shows on TV, do!
The Gecko and the Echo
by Rachel Bright; illustrated by Jim Field
ISBN 978 140835 606 7