Hello! (UK) / Counting Kindness (US)

‘What if a place got so scary that we had to run away…?’ So begins Hello! A Counting Book of Kindnesses.

In ten simple words, this counting book traces the refugee child’s journey through the lens of help offered along the way: 1 boat, 2 hands, 3 meals…and finally the hope of being able to stay and make 10 new friends. Rather than rubbing little noses in the horror or victimhood of the refugee experience, this book shows that one can always find kindness and hope amidst the rubble and uncertainty.

Hello! is a visual learning tool for young readers as well as a gentle reminder of how powerful one small gesture can be.

10% of author royalties will be donated to Amnesty International UK Section to support human rights including those of child refugees.

The book will be published in 2020 by Otter-Barry Books; illustrated by Barroux; and endorsed by Amnesty International

International publishers include: Charlesbridge (US); Rubinstein (NL); Rue du Monde (France); Gütersloher Verlagshaus (Germany); Edizioni Clichy (Italy) and Walker Books (Australia/New Zealand).

Illustrations by Barroux

Read alouds, interviews & activities

Hollis reads Hello! (UK) on youtube
Q&A with Hollis & Barroux
Hollis leest Iedereeen telt mee!
How Barroux draws the bird
ACtivities for children
Activity notes by Hollis & Barroux
Hollis reads Counting Kindness (US)

Credits: illustrator Barroux and UK publisher Otter-Barry Books. Music for drawing a bird by Alfie Gidley.

Country Editions

Hollis reads Hello! on youtube

A highly original 1 to 10 counting book that celebrates diversity and encourages empathy in very young children

Exploring themes of migration, refuge and acceptance, it gently follows a family’s journey to a new home. Along the way, kindness, generosity and sharing are the order of the day!

Published in the UK by Otter-Barry Books, 2 July 2020.

Please support your local, independent booksellers, or

Hollis reads Counting Kindness on youtube

A warm and welcoming introduction to immigration, refugees, and inclusivity as children count from one to ten with one boat, two helping hands, and the generosity and kindness of many.

This beautiful counting book captures the joy of finding a home and the power of a welcoming community. From playing to sleeping, eating to reading, celebrating to learning, Counting Kindness proves we can lift the heaviest hearts when we come together. Endorsed by Amnesty International.

Published in the US by Charlesbridge,
September 8 2020. Pre-order here at Penguin Random House

Please support your local, independent booksellers, or

Steun een onafhankelijke boekhandel bij jou in de buurt of:

1 boot… om ons op weg te helpen
5 wensen… om ons hoop te geven
10 vriendjes… om samen mee te spelen

Reis mee met een gezin dat hun thuis moet verlaten op zoek naar een veilige plek en zie hoe ze onderweg overal vriendelijke en behulpzame mensen tegenkomen. Dit bijzondere telboek biedt een hoopvolle boodschap aan alle kinderen en hun ouders, overal ter wereld.

Nederlandse uitgave door Rubinstein, 15 juni 2020 (hier het nieuwsbericht, er is ook een interview met Hollis in het Nederlands [pdf])

Veuillez soutenir votre librairie locale ou bien:

1 bateau… qui vient à notre secours
3 repas… qui remplissent nos petits ventres
9 signes… de bienvenue dans notre nouvelle école…

En faisant le long voyage avec une famille qui cherche à vivre loin du malheur, on découvre des mains accueillantes, des gestes plein d’espoir…
Et, en souriant, on apprend à compter jusqu’à 10!

Edition française par Rue du monde, le 20 mai 2020.

1 Boot … hilft uns auf den Weg.
5 Wünsche … erfüllen unsere Seelen mit Hoffnung.
10 Freunde … machen uns glücklich.

Begleite eine Familie, die von einem gefährlichen zu einem sicheren Ort flieht und alle möglichen Menschen trifft, die unterwegs freundlich zu ihnen sind.

Dieses einzigartige und wunderschöne Zählbuch zeigt, dass die Menschen zusammengehören, überall auf der Welt.

Veröffentlicht in Deutschland von Gütersloher Verlagshaus (2021).

In Italiano, prossimamente.

Pubblicato in Italia da Edizioni Clichy (2021).

Please support your local, independent booksellers, or

1 boat…helping us on our way
5 wishes…lifting our spirits with hope
10 friends…making us happy

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.

Published in Australia and New Zealand by Walker Books, 1 August 2020.

Reviews & endorsements

“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
“May this wonderful, simple book have wings to fly and melt the hearts that doubt its message.”
Rosemary Wells
Award-winning children’s book author-illustrator of Max and Ruby series
“In simple, appropriate, accessible terms, A Counting Book of Kindnesses helps today’s children understand the welcome that tomorrow’s refugees will need.”
Kenneth Roth
Executive Director Human Rights Watch
“Hollis Kurman's captivating Counting Book of Kindnesses shows how with care, thought and artistic flair, young children can be introduced to important global issues whilst allowing hope to shine through. 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
"This is wonderful...! ...[T]hank you for making the world brighter and reminding us we are in a global world all together---one where sheltering place is not an option for everyone, and refugees are in special need, whether they are our neighbors or somewhere in their journeys in these difficult times...We can only think of kids and families in refugee camps in Europe or at our own border who have yet to get to the four beds or hearts stage. Thank you for raising consciousness about their dreams and desires... It is an excellent book to have in school libraries, to help kids born here to understand better some of the things their new schoolmates or neighbors have gone through."
Barbara Bair, Ph.D.
co-editor of The Papers of Jane Addams, volumes two and three
“The warmth of the beautiful Illustrations by acclaimed picturebook maker Barroux enhance the simple text enabling young readers to follow the journey of this refugee family (…)”

” (…) this book would be a gentle introduction to the plight of refugee children (and) could provide the perfect starting point for conversations about this important topic (…) "
"This deceptively simple book counts ten ways in which a family are shown kindness on their journey as refugees. The expressive illustrations demonstrate the steps taken by the family towards a new normal, and the sparse text allows space for the reader to discuss issues surrounding refugees and how they can be helped. It's a perfect situation book and also a lovely read."
“A beautiful and unusual counting book redolent with empathy and inclusivity. (…) …this is an outstanding example of how a deceptively simple picturebook can develop empathy and understanding. Highly recommended.”
“… This world needs a Counting Book of Kindnesses. The way it is written and illustrated is pure and intense, and it took courage to convey such a difficult subject in a light, appealing and positive way. But it is more than that: by choosing to portray the refugee child’s journey through the lens of help offered along the way, it shows, to children and adults alike, the best we can teach ourselves. In the words of Victor Frankl, psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor: ‘When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change our attitude towards it.’ 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.”