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Give Up, Gecko! [Kindle Edition]

Margaret Read MacDonald , Deborah Melmon
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)

Digital List Price: $9.99 What's this?
Print List Price: $16.99
Kindle Price: $9.68
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Book Description

“Elephant! Elephant! Heavy! Heavy! Heavy! Elephant! Elephant! STOMP! STOMP! STOMP!” Elephant was shouting and stomping. But could he stomp a hole deep enough to reach water for the thirsty animals? Maybe…maybe not. All the animals tried until tiny Gecko Gecko takes a turn. He is small...but he is determined. And he's not going to give up! Kids will love to chant and stomp along to this Ugandan folktale.

Editorial Reviews Review

"MacDonald sure knows how to supply young readers with scripts to shout from.” - Daniel Kraus, Booklist April 2013

From School Library Journal

Inspired by “Chameleon and Elephant,” this version of the traditional story stars Gecko as hero of the day. It’s been a long dry spell, and the animals are thirsty. There’s no rain in sight, so they decide to dig for water and to proclaim the one who finds it chief. How shall they dig? With tusks or horns? Not everyone has those, so they decide that everyone will STOMP because everyone has feet. (Except for snake, of course). “Heavy, heavy, heavy. Stomp, stomp, stomp” goes Elephant. But, no water. Next, it’s Hippo’s turn. “Heavy, heavy, heavy. Stomp, stomp, stomp.” But, no water. Rhino tries, then Buffalo, then Giraffe. Next come the medium-size animals: Monkey, Warthog, and Hyena. Then, the little animals try: Rabbit and Iguana. Lastly, Gecko wants a turn. “Heavy, heavy, heavy. Stomp, stomp, stomp” says light-footed Gecko. “They can laugh. I won’t give up.” And before long… SPLASH, SPLASH, SPLASH. Of course, Elephant tries to steal Gecko’s claim to fame, but the others know the truth. They build Gecko a special place right near their new watering hole. Children will enjoy repeating the refrain and the cumulative aspects of this tale. Done in watercolor and colored pencil and enhanced with Photoshop, the cartoon illustrations of the expressive animals are pleasing and large enough to be used with a group. This is a good choice for introducing folktales or for use in storytimes with a variety of themes including animals, perseverance, or tales from other lands.–Roxanne Burg, Orange County Public Library, CA School Library Journal June 2013

Product Details

  • File Size: 7669 KB
  • Print Length: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Two Lions (January 29, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00AE9PAZ2
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #72,124 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another gem from a true storytelling master February 1, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I am always excited to see a new book by Margaret Read MacDonald. She makes my job as a library story time reader so much easier! Give Up, Gecko is yet another fun, beautifully told folktale that is sure to capture the imaginations of young story listeners. The text has the perfect read aloud rhythm, and the repeating chant offers up plenty of opportunity for audience participation. I probably won't be using this for my preschool groups because of its length, but it is a perfect match for grades K-3 and will be an ideal purchase for any teacher looking for a jumping off place for discussions of animals, and the water shortages that plague many countries in Africa.

Aside from that perfect read aloud flow, the author also includes just the right amount of humor to keep young listeners on their toes and paying attention. Don't be surprised if your circle time quickly dissolves into lots of giggles and stomping! Since this story also features a nice lesson about perseverance and sharing, this little tale about not giving up turns into a classic that belongs on every story time or classroom shelf.

The cartoon illustrations are done primarily in browns and grays, with each animal well defined and very expressive. The expressions of joy and dismay add to the text, providing lots to look at for repeat readings. My favorite character was of course the gecko. The looks on his face as he stomps his tiny feet were priceless and the perfect pairing for the energetic text.

Give Up, Gecko! is an enthusiastic recommend!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable Children's Book March 16, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Give Up, Gecko is an enjoyable children's book about the importance of perseverance. The story revolves around the animal's search for water. All the animals try to stomp their way to water but give up one by one, until the smallest animal, the gecko is the only one left. Although the other animals laugh at him and repeatedly call for him to quit, the Gecko keeps up his stomping for hours until he succeeds. Margaret MacDonald's prose is clear and repetitive which is great for younger children, however it is the artwork by Deborah Melmon that is truly outstanding- the colors are vivid and bright and the illustrations fill the entire page. Our 1 year old son was mesmerized by the book and we look forward to reading it to him many times more. A great addition to any child's bookshelf.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Give Up, Gecko! Review February 6, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Give Up, Gecko! is a folktale from Uganda that has been retold by Margaret Read MacDonald and accompanied by illustrations from Deborah Melmon. I chose this story for my preschool-aged daughters because we talk a lot about perseverance, and I thought this might be a good conversation starter. In the book, the animals are trying to find water. They decide to take turns digging, and the animal who finds water will be the new chief. The heavy animals go first-- elephant, rhino, hippo and giraffe-- but quickly give up. Next are the medium-sized animals-- monkey, warthog and hyena-- who also give up. The small animals-- rabbit and iguana-- take a turn but feel too useless to keep going. Last comes tiny Gecko who surprises everyone by stomping and stomping and stomping despite pressure from the others to "Give Up, Gecko!"

Our whole family really enjoys this book. Gecko's tenacity is charming, and it's a great lesson about persistence (aside from the classic, "I think I can!"). My children especially enjoy the lyrical chant that Gecko uses to keep himself motivated as he digs:

"Gecko! Gecko!
Heavy! Heavy! Heavy!
Gecko! Gecko!
Stomp! Stomp! Stomp!"

And they are excited to cheer him on even when the other animals don't. My wife and I both enjoy reading it because it is easy to stay engaged with the lively text.

Another positive to Give Up, Gecko! is the illustration by Deborah Melmon. The artwork conveys a lot of character, and the animals show a lot of emotions through their facial expressions. It's always nice to find a book with illustrations that really add to the story.

Give Up, Gecko! is a wonderful book that I can happy to share with my daughters. We love folktales, and this one is excellent. I highly recommend it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a wonderful folktale with universal appeal January 29, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
"Give Up, Gecko!" may be a Ugandan folktale but it has worldwide appeal as an important lesson to children everywhere that if you can accomplish just about anything if you set your mind to doing it. This beautiful folktale is retold here by Margaret Read MacDonald; and the colorful illustrations by Deborah Melmon enhance the book a great deal. The story is presented to young children very well; MacDonald is a skillful author who knows how to reach her young audience.

I read this book aloud to my neighbor's son--and he loved it as much as I loved reading it to him! The story inspires children to work hard and never give up as they strive to achieve their best in life. The gecko may be very small, but it's his perseverance and refusal to give up that saves the day for the animals!

The tale is also an excellent way to start conversations about various animals in the animal kingdom. This increases a child's awareness of animals (including their appearances and relative sizes) and fosters a true appreciation of wildlife.

I highly recommend this book for children aged 6 (or maybe 5) and up; grownups will love reading this to children to teach them important lessons and bond with them!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good and fun book.
Published 9 days ago by atul chawla
5.0 out of 5 stars inspiring story and a good lesson learned
What a delightful story about perseverance, loyalty, friendship! It also captures a good response to bullying. Read more
Published 13 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book of my life by: Peyton
When I saw this book I was like this is a great book. It is the first book I ever saw
Published 1 month ago by jb
3.0 out of 5 stars Good book
Good for kids of all ages. Learned perseverance in reading this with the kids. Recommend and good pictures. Thank you.
Published 3 months ago by Karee Thornock
5.0 out of 5 stars Give up, Gecko!
Another book that I love but then again the letters are microscopic! Is there any way you can make the text a little bit bigger? Thank you.
Published 3 months ago by Lolampi
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun little story
I read this book to my one year old and she loved the stomp! Stomp! Stomp! Parts. It was so cute! She would kick her feet wanting me to read about the animals stomping. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Heidih9152
4.0 out of 5 stars Great little book for little children
This book has tiny words to read but is very nice for children and my little brother is 6 going to be 7 and he even loves it
Published 5 months ago by A mom
4.0 out of 5 stars review from a young reader: a good book!
I most enjoyed when the gecko never gave up. I liked the drawings a lot too! I really really loved it!
Published 8 months ago by Perrin Patterson
4.0 out of 5 stars A good read about teaching persistance
This is a good book about persistence and (implied) teamwork. The illustrations are also well done, child friendly, without being cartoony. Read more
Published 10 months ago by BeNice
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book
This is a great story about not giving up and about showing people that its not always about what you look like. My boys love it.
Published 11 months ago by Mom of Two
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More About the Author

Dr. Margaret Read MacDonald travels the world telling stories....always on the lookout for more great folktales to share. She shapes these found stories into tellable tales which anyone can share with ease. Filling her folktale collections with these delightful tales, she creates perfect read alouds for you and your family. MRM wants everyone to experience the joy of a beautifully told tale. She hopes you will read them a few times...then put down the book...put down the electronic device...and just TELL the story to your children!

Some of her favorite folktales she expands into picture books...hopefully with delightfully readable language while will roll right out of your mouth. Share them with your children and then....act the tales out! Revisit the tales by TELLING them! At bedtime. While on the road. Fill your pockets with great stories to share wherever you go.

Joining her Folklore Ph.D. with her 30 plus years as a children's librarian, Margaret brings folktales to life in playful, lilting language which should delight both reader and listener.

See her performance schedule at:

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