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GO TO SLEEP, GECKO! by Margaret Read MacDonald


A Balinese Folktale

adapted by Margaret Read MacDonald & illustrated by Geraldo Valério

Age Range: 3 - 7

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-87483-780-4
Publisher: August House

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)