My husband recently checked Go To Sleep Gecko out of the library to appease my “get the kids some new books now!” demands. He did well.
Go To Sleep Gecko is a retelling of a Balinese Folktale. It contains charming artwork from acrylic medium. The artist’s personification of “rain” is both comical and genius. It is an animal tale involving backwards problem solving to arrive at the story’s moral. The main characters (the Gecko and Elephant) must chain backwards to determine why the fireflies are keeping Gecko up each night. With each of Elephant’s inquiries comes another inquiry. Until finally Gecko realizes that “some things you just have to put up with.”
I had to admit to the kids that I did not like that “buffalo poop” is talked about in the story. But they understand that I do not like “potty talk” words. If you can get over this word choice (which I could because it is so characteristic of folk tales!), then I highly recommend reading this book!
Speech Therapy Ideas:
1. This is a good book for kids who can inconsistently pronounce /k/ and /g/ sounds. Work on the “GECK-o” noises throughout the book.
2. There are many opportunities to answer “why” questions in this book. Kids just learning this skills will have the answers on every page, but will still need to use their emerging higher level language skills. “Why do the fireflies flash their lights?”, “Why does it rain hard every afternoon?”, etc.
3. Repeated choruses are great both for children learning rote language phrases, and those using Augmentative Communication to participate in book reading (BIGMack, or other simple voice output devices).
4. This would be a great book to act out with a few children. Although the book has much dialogue, it is simple and repetitive. Make the story into a simple play and show it off for someone else.
5. Problem solve backwards with the book to talk about what Elephant figures out. Draw pictures showing what leads to what. Ultimately, why does Gecko decide to live with the fireflies flashing?