Children's Writer

Hollis started telling stories when she was a child and basically never stopped. Later, when her own children were little, they insisted that she make up stories for them every night before bed. Together with her lifelong love of children’s books, these spontaneous bedtime stories told in the dark inspired Hollis to start writing children’s books of her own.

She wishes that she could illustrate her own books, but since she peaked as an artist when she was about twelve years old, she’s grateful for the amazing talent of professional illustrators who can bring stories to life in pictures.

Counting Series

This special counting book series by Hollis Kurman, illustrated by Barroux, makes sensitive or complex topics accessible, inspiring, and engaging for the youngest readers.

Whether about refugees, the environment, resilience or hunger, each book:

  • Tells a story in simple but lyrical prose while counting 1-10
  • Explores the topic through a hopeful lens
  • Shows how simple and rewarding it can be to make a difference, even for very young children
  • Invites conversations and exploration (also supported by accompanying activity sheets)

Counting in Green

The next book in the counting series is here!

What can we do when Mother Earth needs our help? Come find out!

‘Counting in Green: Ten Little Ways to Help Our Big Planet’ (Otter-Barry Books), illustrated by Barroux, publishing spring and summer 2023.

International publishers to date include: Trafalgar (US);  Rue du Monde (France); Simbol (Spain/Catalunya); ; Edizioni Clichy (Italy).

From one to ten we’re counting green…

Her debut picture book, ‘Hello! A Counting Book of Kindnesses’ (UK) / ‘Counting Kindness – Ten Ways to Welcome Refugee Children’ (US), is illustrated by Barroux.

The book, published in 2020-21 by Otter-Barry Books and publishers in 10 countries, is illustrated by Barroux and endorsed by Amnesty International.

International publishers to date include: Charlesbridge (US); Rubinstein (NL); Rue du Monde (France); Walker Books (Australia/New Zealand); Gütersloher Verlagshaus (Germany); Edizioni Clichy (Italy); Ediciones Castillo / Macmillan Education (Mexico/Latin America); and BookGoodCome Publishing (South Korea).

“A gorgeous book that celebrates how simple acts of kindness can uphold the right to safety.”
Nicky Parker
Head of Amnesty International UK's literature and publishing programme

SCBWI & Children's activities

Hollis is an active member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI) and leads human rights discussions with school children.

Hollis often does human rights interviews and sessions with school children. Pictured here with a group of impressive young interviewers at the International School of Amsterdam.


These articles by Hollis cover different topics regarding children’s writing:

  • on Early Years Educator: encouraging children to care for the planet
  • on BookTrust UK: recommended conservation themed children’s books
  • on children’s books to spark conversations about refugees


Below is an example of more of Hollis’ writing for children, and there are many more children’s stories and poems in the pipeline!

Published in Root & Star Magazine: the children’s poem My City Forest.

My City Forest

This city is my forest
and its buildings are my trees.
They tower up above me
sending chills down to my knees.

And if I listen closely,
I hear the city calling.
Its beeps and honks and chatter
can still a nature longing.

Fountains are my waterfalls;
their spray makes my face tingle.
Wild-winged creatures swoop on down
to drink and splash and mingle.

Four legged furries rule the parks,
growing wilder as they run.
And though a leash may hold them,
it’s the freedom they find fun.

This city is my forest –
as mysterious and wild
as any woodlands can be.
This town’s perfect for a child!

‘My City Forest’ (Root & Star, March 2019 ‘Forest’ Issue)