Following its African outback predecessor from the wild ‘The Curious Travels of Gusto & Gecko’ series is the equally raucous adventure of two time-travelling dinosaurs; it’s ‘Gusto & Gecko Travel to New Orleans’.
Inspired by the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and the fascinating lifestyle of this beautiful city, Longy Han set her beloved prehistoric duo in none other than New Orleans. Once again, illustrator Elinor Hägg engages readers with her sweet, bold and humorous images, whilst Han’s text sweeps us along a deliciously action-packed journey.
On an ordinary Sunday afternoon, Gusto and Gecko chuff up, down, round and round in their trusty time machine, the Rombom. Immediately greeted by a jazz band, fortune-teller and colourful sidewalks outside an elegant cathedral, the pair begin their adventure. However, the lure of the crusty, powdered beignets set them off on a nose-tickling, catapulting escapade across the French Quarter, into the Superdome stadium, across the dazzling Mardi Gras parade, and into a marshy, alligator-infested swamp. Whether by luck, chance, or serendipitous fate, Gecko (and a crystal ball) bravely send a hungry reptile into retreat, and the spontaneous dinosaurs and their Rombom back into the past.
With a wonderful blend of cultural elements including French cuisine and sweets, and the New Orleans recreational culture, ‘Gusto and Gecko’ brings awareness and interest to readers about this part of the world. Perhaps a world map could be another addition, but the glossary of terms adds value to the story. The book also connects themes of friendship and loyalty, courage and determination, whilst adding curiosity and wit to the mix.
Gusto & Gecko Travel to New Orleans is a fun, joyous travel across the continents that early primary readers will delight in at every turn.
Visit Gusto & Gecko at their website.
Longy Han (author),
Elinor Hägg (illus.),
Han Creative, 2016.
See the Gusto & Gecko Travel to Kenya review and interview with Longy Han here.
For a fun culturally artistic craft activity blending elements of French and New Orleans, please click the image to see a video of how to make a papier mache mask for a Mardi Gras parade!