#WorldKidLit Wednesday: Perfect Presents!

In Perfect Presents!, a wry, graphic picture book from Down Under for ages 3-7 (but frankly, for all ages), we meet a rotund owl and his friend, a salamandery lizard.  The lizard arrives bearing gifts: a cake, a bouquet of flowers, and a large wrapped box. The owl devours them with great satisfaction. When he licks his lips, picks up the lizard, and draws him towards his mouth, the lizard—along with the reader—sweats buckets… But—whew!—after an exquisitely timed page turn, the owl gives his friend a huge thank-you kiss for the gifts and offers him peppermint tea.

The back-cover book blurb is even part of the story, rather than just a teaser for the contents. And for those readers who love meta-messages, the back cover not-so-subtly reminds us that a charming little book like this makes a perfect gift. It takes no stretch of the imagination to see that the anthropomorphic lizard looks a good deal like the Gecko Press’s lizard logo if it just walked upright.

With sparse dialogue and comics-style illustrations, Perfect Presents! will make young readers howl. Yet this delightful, tongue-in-cheek book also carries some important messages: thoughtful gifts are an act of friendship, thank-yous are meaningful, and friendship involves acts of kindness reciprocated.

Deep thoughts for such a slim book.

Perfect Presents!
Written and illustrated by Anke Kuhl
Translated from the German by Melody Shaw
2023, Gecko Press (release date: May 2)
ISBN: 9781776574995

Reviews: Kirkus

You can buy a copy here* or find it at a library.

*Book purchases made via our affiliate link may earn GLLI a small commission at no cost to you.

Award-winning opera singer Nanette McGuinness is the translator of roughly 100 books and graphic novels for children and adults from French, Italian, German and Spanish into English, including the well-known Geronimo Stilton Graphic NovelsTwo of her translationsLuisa: Now and Then and California Dreamin’: Cass Elliot Before the Mamas & the Papas were chosen for YALSA’s Great Graphic Novels for Teens; Luisa: Now and Then was also a 2019 Stonewall Honor Book and a GLLI YA Books in Translation Honor Book; California Dreamin’ was a 2018 Harvey Awards Best European Book. Recent translations include Dagfrid: Viking Girl, Magical History Tour: Samurai, Magical History Tour: Slaveryfantasy manga Bibi & Miyu #3, LGBTQ manga Just Friends, and Alice on the Run: One Child’s Journey Through the Rwandan Civil War

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