Reviews

Here you can find a selection of reviews and comments from children’s literature reviewers, bloggers, Instagram book lovers and more. If you’d like to add a review of your own, we’d love to hear from you!

Enthusiastic review on Buzz Words book blog

“… a refreshingly modern take on a traditional concept book, (and) tugs at the heartstrings with every turn of the page. Children of all ages will be compelled to return to this book again and again, as they shift from the pure joy of learning how to count, towards an understanding of complex ideas such as migration, inclusivity, and compassion.”

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Sharing the shelf – review on Instagram

“A great way to start a conversation with children about what a refugee is and to explore, with accompanying conversation, how to understand something they may have seen or heard about, equipping them with the skills to develop the empathy that is so desperately needed in these conversations.”

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First Australian review by @flisatfun on Instagram

“This counting book by Hollis Kurman with illustrations by Barroux is a poignant book that centres on themes of migration, refugees and inclusivity…Not only is this beautifully illustrated, it educates children in a number of ways and is a great addition to an inclusive bookshelf.”

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Dutch NBD Biblion review

“Special picture book about helping refugees while learning to count from 1 to 10. In the first spread, a mother and her young children are fleeing a war situation. The reader is succinctly introduced to what is happening but at the same time offered hope and direction.”

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Sunday Times review

“A hopeful picture book about refugees and the kind gestures that give a journey to a new country a happy ending, told by counting to 10: ‘1 boat…2 hands lifting us to safety.’ “

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Iedereen telt mee! on youth-lit site Pluizuit

“The beauty of this book is its simplicity…The [illustrations and text] reinforce each other in their message and get straight to the essence in a charming way…The author is donating 10% of her income from the book to Amnesty International. A small but very important gesture for a hopeful future.”

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Editor’s Choice on Books for Keeps

“The warmth of the beautiful illustrations enhance the simple text enabling young readers to follow the journey of this refugee family and encouraging them to join in with counting…a gentle introduction to the plight of refugee children for the very young. It could provide the perfect starting point for conversations about this important topic in educational settings and at home.”

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UK Review by Bookwagon

“Not only is this beautiful book informative as to what so many children might be forced to live through and escape from, but it’s a reminder as to how we might respond.”

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Hello! on Readitdaddy

“Very timely book about being kind to others, and instilling in them an unparalleled feeling of joy when you’re around…Hollis’ wonderful sentiments coupled with Barroux’s brilliant illustrations make this one a mini wow for early years.”

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Lovereading4kids review

“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.”

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Review by Petra Katzenstein, Jewish Historical Museum A’dam

“… 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.”

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Review by Barbara Bair, Ph.D.

“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.”

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Review by Sarah Grace, Int. School Amsterdam

“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.”

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