Julia’s gift guide to make us laugh

When Dad's Hair Took Off vacuum cleanerA bit of funny goes a long way. At Gecko Press we have a fondness for books that appeal to children with a dry sense of humour.

Today’s gift guide features books that bring smiles to our faces and a giggle or two from our bellies, whatever our age.

We can no longer guarantee Christmas delivery from our website, so make sure to visit your local bookstore for these and other Gecko Press books.

—Happy seasonal reading from all of us at Gecko Press

Take a look at some of our other 2023 gift guides

Rachel’s Gift Guide for Close Observers | Shona’s Great Read Alouds Gift Guide |
Sarah’s Gift Guide for Young Animal Lovers | Emma’s Gift Guide for Little Books

Julia MarshallAt Gecko Press, we choose children’s books that have a good story, a big heart, are curiously good.

Quite often, they make children—and you—laugh.

We like a funny book: children have a good sense of funny; sometimes the funny is in the telling. These books are all funny when you put them in front of children, the best way to tell.

Happy Christmas from me.

—Julia Marshall


2023 highlight for 6 to 8 years

For children who enjoy puns, slapstick and comics

When Dad's Hair Took Off cover“Get ready for a hair-raising—or should we say hair-racing—chase and an abundance of absurdity and witty wordplay.” Kirkus Reviews

“Absolutely brilliant.” Foreword Reviews, ⭐

“An early chapter book—the kind of Gecko Press excels at bringing us.” Betsy Bird, author and librarian

A fast-paced, comical story for early readers, in which Dad’s hair takes off through the open window to freedom!

When Dad’s Hair Took Off

Reviews of the year for 7 to 14 years

For readers full of ideas and questions

Paku Manu Ariki Whakatakapōkai front cover“My kids scream with laughter when I read it to them, even though we are now on the 500th or 80 millionth read.” Emily Writes, author

“A new kind of book for a new kind of world.” The Spinoff, Best Books of the Year 2023

“One of the best and brightest kids books of the year.” Kete Books

A bold and multi-layered picture book about self-determination narrated by a young boy full of ideas and questions about growing up, belonging, spirituality, culture and who is the boss.

Paku Manu Ariki Whakatakapōkai

Tried & true for 1 to 3 years

For boundary pushing toddlers

“The story is sublime in its simplicity and the humor will delight its intended audience.” Kirkus Review, Best Board Books of 2022

“A hilarious choice for stressed parents and carefree tots.” School Library Journal

“A primer in how to develop a love of humour and the absurd in young kids.” Children’s Books Ireland

In this funny board book a mischievous little lion tests his daily routines to their limit—cheerfully trying all sorts of places to poop before ending up proudly on the potty.

Lionel Poops

Guaranteed to please for 4 to 7 years

For children who love word play and bouncy energy

that's not a hippopotamus book, Juliette MacIver, childrens picture book, book about a hippopotamusBest Picture Book winner, New Zealand Children’s Book Awards 2018.

“A fantastic romp to read aloud.” Magpies magazine

“Buoyant fun for the very young.” Kirkus Reviews

“This delightful tale will bring smiles to your face and cheers to your lips! Kids will ask for it again and again just for the pure joy of joining in the hippo hunt.” Storywraps

That’s Not a Hippopotamus

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