Joy Cowley & Hilary Jean Tapper

Good Night, Good Beach

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.


“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

Gecko Press

Picture Book

Original title: Good Night, Good Beach
Age 2+
24 pp
hc | 250 x 242 mm
Publication: November 2023

Author: Joy Cowley
Illustrator: Hilary Jean Tapper

All rights available, excl. Chinese & Turkish


“A delightful picture book portraying generations of a family holidaying in a seaside bach. I loved the simplicity of the story, written as a succinct rhyming poem, which transports us to the old family bach and to the seaside. Images of seashells beneath pillows, sandy skin and salt smells evoke the wonder and pleasure of a Kiwi summer while the detailed and softly and gently coloured Illustrations beautifully complement the narrative as the various family members, both old and young, are portrayed gathering in this familiar and very much-loved place.” – Judges’ comments, NZ Booklovers Award

“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.” – Just So Stories

By the same author