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About the Author

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; Supervisory Board member of Save the Children NL; 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 Amsterdam with her Dutch husband.

Barroux was born in Paris and grew up in Morocco. He is author and illustrator of many books, published all over the world, and children in need are a special theme of his. From the 2005 Enfantasie Award to the English PEN Award and the Prix Medecins Sans Frontieres in 2015, he has won numerous honours and awards. His books include Line of Fire with Michael Morpurgo, and Alpha with Bessora, as well as picture books for younger children including Where's the Elephant? and Welcome!


"A hopeful picturebook 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.'"

-- Nicolette Jones * Sunday Times *

"A gorgeous book...a great introduction for even the youngest of children to the idea of refugees and inclusivity. A beautifully hopeful book...demonstrates how simple acts of kindness can have profound impacts."

* Let them be Small *

"A counting book with a difference...a warm celebration of generous welcomes and new beginnings."

-- Imogen Russell-Williams

"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."

* Books for Keeps Editor's Choice *

"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 sales make this one a mini wow for early years."

* Juno magazine *

"A beautiful and unusual counting book redolent with empathy and inclusivity. Endorsed by Amnesty International this is an outstanding example of how a deceptively simple picture book can develop empathy and understanding. Highly recommended."

* Love Reading 4 Kids *

"Perfectly demonstrates a refugee journey in a way that children can understand."

* Peters Book of the Week *

"A wonderfully unique title that combines learning counting through themes of migration, refugees and empathy."

* The Bookseller - Back to School *

"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 *

"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 *

"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 *

"May this wonderful, simple book have wings to fly and melt the hearts that doubt its message."

-- Rosemary Wells

"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 *

"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 *

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