This book catches the out-of-time feeling of a proper summer holiday at the beach—salt and sea, treasures under the pillow, and off to sleep in 50 perfectly chosen words.

Rachel Lawson, Publisher

At the Bach

An evocative bedtime picture book that distils the essence of a family summer at the bach.

Summer holidays by the sea have a rhythm all their own. With a few resonant images Cowley takes us straight to the end of a long hot day with beach treasures under the pillow and the salty smell of the sea. The cadence of the final words echoes the shushing waves in a gentle signal of time for readers to sleep—“good day, good sea, good sand, good night”.

This simple poem by internationally renowned Joy Cowley transports the reader to a childhood summer with language that asks to be read over and over. Hilary Jean Tapper’s warm watercolour and ink illustrations add an inclusive cast of extended family, friends and children of different ages.

This title is a special New Zealand edition using the original poem title At the Bach. The international edition is published as Good Night, Good Beach.

Look inside video

  • Book Details

    Country of Origin New Zealand
    Reader Age 2-5 year
    Book Size

  • Reviews

    1. Whitcoulls

      Joan’s picks: Best kids’ books of 2023

    2. Telling Tales Bookstore, Top picks 2023

      Gentle, lullaby, lovely.

    3. Swings & Roundabouts

      A great book to read before rest with its simple text and rhythm.

    4. National Library, Services to Schools

      Joy Cowley and Hilary Jean Tapper have captured the perfect bach experience with slow, poetic text and soft pencil and watercolour illustrations.

    5. Kete Books

      Perfect for bedtime after a day in the sand and sun.

    6. Poetry Box

      Fills you with a warm summer glow… Picture book bliss.

    7. Just So Stories

      Joy’s simple text reverberates with both visual imagery and lyrical language and fully evokes the kind of simple beachside experience that for many is an unknown quantity. And the illustrations, from Hilary Jean Tapper, are absolutely gorgeous. They are without a word of exaggeration, a perfect match for this exquisite poem.

    8. The Sapling

      One you will read so often, you’ll know it off by heart and your kids will start joining in. Joy Cowley is our country’s most prolific children’s author and she is a master at conjuring up emotional responses with very few words. Her books, including this one, are just so authentically kiwi…[this] is one that, I think, will be a cherished favourite.

    9. The Source

      An ideal bedtime story, where every word counts.

    10. The Post

      Sweetly melodic.

    11. What Book Next

      A true treasure for us all.

    12. Books + Publishing

      A simple but powerful book that captures the joy of childhood and is a story families will treasure.

Available worldwide from your local bookstore or online.

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