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A beautiful and unusual counting book redolent with empathy and inclusivity
Counting books are very much a staple of the bookshelves at home and nursery but this collaboration between a human rights activist and poet and an award-winning illustrator is so much more than just a tool for learning numbers and could be shared and used throughout the primary age-group for the discussions it will provoke. This is the story of a family that had to run away from an image of a war-torn, smoking settlement. “Hold my hand and count to ten- together we’ll make it better again.” Then the journey begins with 1 boat and 2 hands “lifting us to safety”, then counting through the meals, beds, wishes and books which help them on their way to the 7 days “celebrating our first week in a new land”. With the “gifts” that surprise them with “things they like and need” in the relief parcels and the welcome notices at their new school to the 10 new friends they make there, this is a hopeful and uplifting journey. However, the images powerfully capture the full gamut of emotions the refugee family experience, as well as the love and support they give each other. The book ends with a challenge to the reader by asking how many ways can they think of to be kind? And there is a reminder of the grim statistics that millions of children are running from war or disaster and many of them have no family to take care of them. The end papers have websites and sources of information for the adult reader, no doubt spurred on by the discussions this book will prompt, who wants to help. Endorsed by Amnesty International, this is an outstanding example of how a deceptively simple picturebook can develop empathy and understanding. Highly recommended.
Come with a family as they travel out of danger to a safe place and meet all kinds of people who show them kindness along the way. This unique and beautiful counting book is full of empathy and hope for all children, everywhere.
I can imagine teachers using this book to stimulate meaningful dialogue about child refugees and foster empathy for those who go through such challenging experiences. -- Sarah Grace Head of Lower School and Associate Director for Teaching and Learning at the International School of Amsterdam
May this book challenge and inspire us to change our attitude, to open our eyes to the kindness around us, and to be kind ourselves. -- Petra Katzenstein Head of the Children's Museum & Special Projects at the Jewish Historical Museum, Amsterdam
May this wonderful, simple book have wings to fly and melt the hearts that doubt its message. -- Rosemary Wells
In simple, appropriate, accessible terms, Hello: A Counting Book of Kindnesses, helps today's children understand the welcome that tomorrow's refugees will need. -- Ken Roth Executive Director, Human Rights Watch
A unique counting book that will be a great book to share with your little ones but equally it's a fantastic resource for exploring empathy. On the surface this is a counting book but wow what a unique one ...There is so much to explore and discuss at each turn of page. MamaFilz
It not only provides a strong story of hope and an optimistic future for refugee families but also succeeds in focussing on the quality and kindness in a range of situations...It deserves a place in every Early Years setting. Letterpress Project
|Publication date:||2nd July 2020|
|Publisher:||Otter-Barry Books Ltd|
|Year Groups:||Early Years|
|Topics:||Family / Home Stories, Personal Social Health Economic|
Hollis Kurman writes poetry and children’s stories.‘Hello! A Counting Book of Kindnesses’, illustrated by Barroux and published by Otter-Barry Books, is Hollis’ debut picture book. Her poems (one nominated for a Pushcart Prize) have been published in multiple journals. When not writing, Hollis moderates literary events and is Chairperson of the Ivy Circle Netherlands; member of the Fulbright Board NL; Founder of the Human Rights Watch NL Committee and member of HRW Women’s Rights Advisory Council. She was born in New York but lives in an old canal house in ...More About Hollis Kurman