Tag Archives: Melissa DeSica

  • Two For Tuesday Deal for August 26, 2014!

    TWOFORTUESDAYWho among us hasn’t, at some point, been teased or made to feel smaller than we are by someone else? Our Two For Tuesday deal this month highlights a pair of books that teach kids to think smart and be proud to be themselves. Gecko and Mosquito and It’s OK To Be Different were each written and illustrated by a talented young woman—Gecko and Mosquito by artist Melissa DeSica and It’s OK To Be Different by intermediate school student Mahealani Sims-Tulba.

    Two For Tuesday Deal: $12 for Gecko and Mosquito and It’s OK To Be Different. You’ll save 50% on this pair of children’s books that take a stand against bullying.

    Bonus Offer: Little Wordsworth the Poet also faces teasing from his classmates when he writes poems about things they just can’t see. But guess who turns out to be the hero when it rains and rains and there seems to be no hope that the sun will shine again? Add Wordsworth the Poet to your order for just $5.00 (a 54% discount)!




  • Geckos in the Garden

    As we slide into summer, we spend more time pau hana on the lānai, listening to the sounds of the geckos calling to each other and swatting bugs…but do we ever think about the lives of those little creatures?

    Two of our writers have, in very different ways.

    In Gecko and Mosquito, a children’s book written and illustrated by the late Melissa DeSica, Gecko—the house bully—has embarked on a one-lizard mission to eat every bug in the hale. He’s only a few inches tall, but that’s still big enough to be a bully when there are smaller creatures around the house—like Mosquito and her friends.

    “I’m the head honcho,
    I’m bigger than you!
    Who’s smarter? Who’s stronger?
    Mo‘o, that’s who!”

    Gecko may be bigger, but he’s definitely not smarter. And Mosquito is tired of being chased and harassed by the greedy fellow.

    “I must find a good way to stop him somehow,
    And help save my bug friends from being kau kau”

    So all afternoon she racked her bug brain
    For just the right plan to make Gecko refrain
    From serving her friends as his Catch of the Day.
    Why, he’d never imagine the trick SHE would play!

    What is Mosquito’s clever plan to free the household bugs from Gecko’s tyranny? You’ll just have to pick up a copy of Gecko & Mosquito to find out!

    For a different take on the secret lives of geckos, turn to University of Hawai‘i professor Gary Pak’s short story, “Language of the Geckos” in the anthology Don’t Look Back: Hawaiian Myths Made New, edited by Christine Thomas.

    Gary’s story was inspired by ‘aumākua tales of the mo‘o:

    In the evenings, when I was small, I would look out the screened windows of our house at the geckos, their translucent undersides sometimes showing an egg or two. Geckos covered the outside of our house, scurrying this way and that, calling or challenging each other with staccato voices, and once in a while one would find its way inside. I never was able to see it inside; it was just too elusive, too fast, too deceptive. But once in a while, its call would give it away, or in the morning I’d notice droppings on the kitchen counter or along the inside of a window. Geckos were all around us all the time.

    Back then, I never knew about their significance to the ‘āina, what they represented, their connection to Hawaiian mythology, or how some believe the mo‘o to be their ancestor or ‘aumakua (guardian spirit). It was something I never thought about. Like the spirits and ghosts that freely meandered all over the land of my birth, I just lived with them. They were just a part of me, and perhaps I could say that I was a part of them. Only later, as an adult, did I learn that geckos, or perhaps only some of them, were considered mo‘o and an important part of Hawaiian mythology and the Hawaiian ancestral belief system.

    Click here to read an excerpt from “Language of the Geckos.”

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