Sarah’s gift guide for young animal lovers

Gecko Press books have always featured more rabbits, hippopotamuses, bears and elephants, ducks, dogs and dinosaurs, than humans—and we’ve never shied from wolves as heroes.

Today’s gift guide features books to please animal-lovers and readers who see the humanity in furry faces.

Click on the covers to go straight to our online shop: or of course, visit your local bookshop. When you order you can add a note if you would like us to gift wrap and add a card/note.

If you’re in New Zealand, make sure to order by 17 December for our Christmas courier delivery, and orders over $100 receive free shipping.

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

It’s fun to promote the animal stars of our books, especially this crew of humorous, cheeky and philosophical characters.

This week’s recommendations from me are four animal stories that feature some of my favourites.

A squirrel and panda with an unbreakable friendship, a cheeky rabbit who can say only one thing, a grumpy bumblebee and greedy hamster and a team of dinosaurs who hide in the city — there’s an animal story for every age.



2023 highlight for 2 to 5 years

For children who love to be the best at dino-spotting

Have You Seen Dinosaur cover

In this follow-up to the bestselling picture book Have You Seen Elephant?, boy, dog and elephant search in a dramatic cityscape for a dinosaur that’s surprisingly good at hiding.

“Absolutely brilliant.”  Waterstones

“Beautiful! Adults will love it, kids will love it the most.”  BBC Radio

“Barrow’s artwork is dreamy, painterly and stunning as well as being totally perfect for young readers.” BookTrust UK, Book of the Month

“Delicious fun for observant young readers.”  Books for Keeps magazine

Have You Seen Dinosaur?

Review of the year for 6 to 8 years

For deep-thinkers who enjoy conversation with friends

“Captivating text, ideal for reading aloud.”  The New York Times

“Striking artwork and sweet, funny stories about friendship make The Moon Is a Ball an amusing addition to the philosophical friends genre, alongside Winnie-the-Pooh and Frog and Toad Are Friends.”  Shelf Awareness

Join Panda and Squirrel in nine funny, wise and thoughtful stories about the meaning of friendship by two world greats of children’s literature.

The Moon Is a Ball

Tried & true for 2 to 5 years

For children and (grownups) with a twinkle of mischief

The international bestselling picture book about a little rabbit who could only say one thing.

Now a series on Netflix.

“Likely to stop even non-bookish kids in their tracks.”  The Guardian, Best Picture Books for Children

“I believe that entertainment is an overrated function of art and we should be challenged by what we view and read.”  Simon Pegg, actor

Poo Bum

Guaranteed to please for 1 to 3 years

For toddlers and adults to play with words together

Playful animals get up to everyday toddler mischief in this board book built on child-based word play, where each page twists animal names into funny new words that are fun to share. Selected as a White Ravens 2022.

“Sticking the landing in a board book is an art. David Elliot? A master.”  School Library Journal

“Delightful images and carefully selected text combine for a silly, innovative, entirely enjoyable read.”  Kirkus Reviews, Best Board Books of 2022, ⭐review

Bumblebee Grumblebee

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