Reviews for Go to Sleep, Gecko! : A Balinese Folktale

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2007 Spring
"Some things you just have to put up with," we learn from this Balinese explication of interspecies connectedness. Gecko complains that the fireflies' lights are keeping him awake, but they're necessary to illuminate Buffalo's poop in the road and that poop fills potholes left by Rain, etc. MacDonald's energetic telling is prime story-hour material, illuminated by Valerio's dreamlike, humorous art. Copyright 2007 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2006 October #1
A Balinese folktale begins one starry night when the gecko complains to the elephant, who is the village boss, that he can't sleep because of the blinking of the fireflies. The next morning, the fireflies explain to the elephant that they blink all night because the buffaloes drop poop all over the road and travelers need to avoid it. The buffalo, showing equal thoughtfulness, explains that the rain washes his poop into the road's potholes to protect these same travelers. This does not appease the gecko, who demands that the elephant talk to the rain. The rain admits to pouring all night long, but this is to provide the mosquitoes with the water they need to survive. And without mosquitoes, what would geckos eat? Elephant's conclusion: "The world is all connected." Content with this explanation, the gecko is finally able to close his eyes and get a good night's sleep. Valério's bright acrylics, full of goofy grins and exaggerated noses, highlight the humor of this bouncy ecological fable. (Picture book. 3-7) Copyright Kirkus 2006 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Reviews 2006 October

PreS-Gr 2 Gecko is grumpy. The blinking lights of the fireflies fluttering outside his house are keeping him awake. Desperate for sleep, he trudges to the village chief's house and pleads with him to do something. Elephant promises to speak with the fireflies in the morning and Gecko drags himself home. When asked about their nocturnal activity, the fireflies explain that they need to light up the village path so everyone can see Buffalo's poop. That night, they blink their lights again, and Gecko returns to Elephant's house. Elephant explains that he talked to Buffalo, who fills up the holes that Rain washes out, and to the fireflies, urging them to continue blinking their lights. This nightly ritual continues, with Gecko appealing to Elephant until he realizes that he would not have any mosquitoes to eat if the natural cycle of life were to be interrupted. Accepting the fact that some things are just the way they are, the lizard is able to sleep peacefully once again. MacDonald's lyrical language and use of repetition help bring this folktale to life. There is just the right touch of humor in both the text and the art. The pacing is perfectly matched to the richly colored acrylic illustrations. The night scenes are luminescent with glowing fireflies and a midnight blue, starry sky. This tale can be shared one-on-one but will shine as a read-aloud.Wendy Woodfill, Hennepin County Library, Minnetonka, MN

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