Shona’s great read-alouds gift guide

It’s the perfect time of year to create magical memories of reading aloud together. Today we’re sharing our gift guide featuring some books that we think make great read-alouds.

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.

While I am the bean counter (accounts manager) at Gecko Press, I also love that our books can help tickle the ears and open up the imaginations of our next generation of readers.

Joy Cowley’s At the Bach brought back memories of times spent at our family bach on the shores of Lake Taupō at Motuoapa.

Time spent at a special family spot sharing books helps us all reset after a long year—reminding us that even when the going is tough, friendships and working together can help us find our own happy life.

— Shona

2023 bestseller for 1 to 5 years

For the whole family to read over and over

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

“An ideal bedtime story, where every word counts.” Magpies magazine

“A charming combo that could be become a classic for yet another generation of Cowley fans.” The Listener Best 50 Children’s Books 2023

“This book is full of the warmth of friends and family, the basics of the beach and the joy of a simple holiday home.” National Library of New Zealand, Best Children’s Books of 2023

At the Bach

‘Best of 2023’ for 1 to 3 years

For high-energy toddlers who enjoy a practical joke

A kind crocodile leaves his pond to see the world, in this fresh and playful board book from New York Times Illustrated Book Award winning author Leo Timmers.

“A diverting reminder that kindness comes in all shapes and sizes—and sometimes requires community.”
Publishers Weekly

Kind Crocodile

Tried & true for 1 to 3 years

For an irresistible shared reading experience

An effortlessly interactive bedtime book in which children help little rabbit create a cosy, sleep routine.

“A wonderful interactive bedtime book for children and little rabbits.” Axel Scheffler, illustrator of The Gruffalo

“I LOVED tickle my ears. Such a gorgeous little book.” Meg Rossoff, award-winning children’s writer

Tickle My Ears

Guaranteed to please for 7 to 9 years

For early readers who find the happy in everything

New York Times Notable Book and first in the acclaimed series for beginning readers.

A sweet, funny illustrated chapter book about Dani, a young girl with a lot of optimism—even if sometimes life makes it hard to be happy.

“If only all early chapter books were this beautifully conceived.” The New York Times

My Happy Life

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