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About Gili

I'm a Shmamit Batim Gecko.  I often live in people's homes where I'm a welcome guest, since I eat pesky bugs for dinner.  I'm even mentioned in the Bible!  "The shmamit climbs with her hands, but dwells in the palaces of kings" (Proverbs, 30:28).

About Talitha

Talitha got to know me after learning all about Israel to draw the pictures in Everybody Says Shalom.  Talitha started doodling when she was a kid and is lucky enough to have a job where she gets to doodle every day!  She especially loves working on picture books.  Talitha likes to travel and has visited Russia, Lithuania, Austria, Italy, and Mexico.  Someday, she hopes to visit Israel to meet me!

About Leslie

There have been many different kinds of animals in Leslie's life—dogs, fish, parakeets, cats—but never a gecko. Maybe it’s time for her to say Shalom to my family! Leslie has been writing picture books for many years; she is also an editor at Sesame Workshop. Like Talitha, Leslie loves to travel, learning the local language and trying local foods. Falafels are a favorite!

I'm Gili The gecko and I'm here to share a bit about my Ancient, colorful and surprising home: The Land of Israel!

Israel is a land of extremes.  There are lush valleys where farmers grow fruit and vegetables, sun-baked deserts, and mountains where you can snow ski.  Amazing animals also roam here: ibex, camels, scorpions, foxes, and even tropical fish that live in the Red Sea.

Israel is an ancient nation, one of the oldest in the world!  Today, many people from many different places call Israel home.  When walking down the street you may hear people speaking Hebrew, Arabic, Russian, English, French, Turkish and Yiddish.

Israel is known for its delicious street food.  If you're ever in Tel Aviv, give some falafel a try.  Falafel is an Israeli dish made from chickpeas and spices that have been rolled up into a ball and then fried.  They're often served in a pita!  Yum!


Everybody Says Shalom Now in Stores!

Click here to order on

Click here to order on

To learn more about Israel, check out Everybody Says Shalom by Leslie Kimmelman and illustrated by Talitha Shipman.  Don't forget to look for me.  I'm hiding on almost every page.