US Lerner Publishing Group acquires local children’s book publisher Gecko Press

Wellington-based Gecko Press finds a new home at Lerner Publishing Group

Lerner Publishing Group has announced the acquisition of Wellington publisher Gecko Press, an award-winning, internationally-focused publisher of curiously good books for children.

Gecko Press, 18 years old, has developed an international niche market for handpicked picture books, board books and chapter books for children translated from the best authors and illustrators in the world.

Gecko Press will operate as an international imprint of Lerner Publishing Group after being distributed in the United States by Lerner Publisher Services for 13 years. Current Gecko Press Associate Publisher Rachel Lawson will be Publisher-at-Large, Gecko Press while founder and CEO Julia Marshall will continue in a consulting role.

The Gecko Press imprint will launch 16 new titles in 2024, including works by New Zealand writers Joy Cowley and Gavin Bishop. The list will continue the special international character and quality of the books for which Gecko Press is known, including the New Zealand publishing.

“Lerner Publishing Group is the best home and future imaginable for Gecko Press,” said Julia Marshall, publisher and CEO of Gecko Press. “Lerner is an independent company with great vision and integrity and Rachel Lawson will lead the Gecko Press brand of curiously good international books for children.”

“Gecko Press is known around the world for award-winning, unique, and beautifully designed children’s books. Those of us who know Julia know what a special person she is and we know she has an incredible eye for a good book. We are honored to continue her vision with Rachel as Gecko Press publisher,” said Adam Lerner, publisher and CEO of Lerner Publishing Group.

Gecko Press operations will move to the Minneapolis, Minnesota office of Lerner Publishing Group while acquisitions will remain based in New Zealand.

The Gecko Press sales and distribution partnerships and warehousing in New Zealand and Australia, United Kingdom and Ireland, will all continue.

Gecko Press Awards and Accolades

  • Best Children’s Publisher of the Year in Oceania at Bologna International Children’s Bookfair 2013
  • New Zealand Publisher of the Year 2017
  • New Zealand Thorpe-Bowker Publisher of the Year 2008; Runner up 2010; Finalist 2011; Finalist 2012
  • Creative Gold Wellington Regional Business Gold Awards Finalist 2009; Winner 2010
  • New York Times Best Illustrated Books, Notable Books, and Starred Reviews

About Lerner Publishing Group™

Lerner Publishing Group™ creates high-quality fiction and nonfiction for children and young adults. Founded in 1959, Lerner Publishing Group is one of the nation’s largest independent children’s book publishers with fifteen imprints and divisions: Carolrhoda Books®, Carolrhoda Lab®, Darby Creek™, ediciones Lerner, First Avenue Editions™, Gecko Press, Graphic Universe™, Kar-Ben Publishing®, Lerner Publications, LernerClassroom™, Lerner Digital™, Millbrook Press™, Twenty-First Century Books™, Zest Books™, and Lerner Publisher Services™. For more information, visit or call 800-328-4929.

About Gecko Press

Gecko Press is an independent, international publisher of curiously good children’s books, based in Wellington, New Zealand. Founded in 2005, Gecko Press hand-picks books by some of the best writers and illustrators in the world—books of good heart and strong character, excellent in story, illustration and design. Gecko Press prides itself on good production—design, paper, bindings, covers—and on trying to make each book the best it can be. Gecko Press books are sold throughout the English-speaking world, in print and digital editions.

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