Like many of you, my heart is aching for everyone in Afghanistan as they face the devastating capture of their country and collapse of their government. What is happening in Afghanistan is incredibly complex and far too nuanced to sum up in one blog post. So today, instead of focusing on the decades of conflict, I would like to share a book that I believe will be essential in classrooms in the countries accepting Afghani refugees.
Title: Counting Kindness: Ten Ways To Help Refugee Children
Author: Hollis Kurman
Published: September 8, 2020
Format: Picture Book
Originally released in September 2020, Counting Kindness by Hollis Kurman is a counting picture book that encourages empathy in children, helping them to understand the plight of refugees and migrants. Gently explaining the many reasons children and their families might need to leave their countries, Counting Kindness provides a glimpse into the refugee experience for children who have not experienced it themselves, and acts as a mirror for those who have.
The illustrations by Barroux are warm and inviting, perfectly capturing both the joy of being welcomed into a new community and the pleasure we can all find in showing kindness to our neighbors.
The back matter contains a list of organizations working to help refugee and migrant families and children, including Amnesty International, which endorsed the book and will receive 10% of the author’s profits.
If you would like to show your kindness to the citizens of Afghanistan today, please consider donating or volunteering with one of the following organizations.
Counting Kindness is available wherever books are sold, including Bookshop and Amazon. There will also be a Spanish/English bilingual edition released later this year, which is available for preorder now. (Please note: Some links provided are affiliate links. Affiliate links allow me to receive a small commission for recommendations at no cost to you. This commission is used to maintain this site and to continue bringing content to you. I always appreciate your support.)
Thank you so much to Charlesbridge for providing me with a review copy of Counting Kindness. I hope it finds its way into classrooms to welcome refugee children everywhere.
About The Author:
Hollis Kurman is a writer, poet, and active participant in numerous causes and enterprises on both sides of the Atlantic. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and Georgetown University, she is chair of the Ivy Circle in the Netherlands, a founder of the Human Rights Watch Netherlands Committee, and a member of the HRW Global Women’s Rights Advisory Council and Save the Children Supervisory Board. A frequent participant and speaker in conferences and seminars, she lives in Amsterdam and New York.
About the Illustrator:
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 is a special theme of his. From the 2005 Enfantasie Award to the English PEN Award and the Prix Médecins Sans Frontières in 2015, he has won numerous honours and awards. His books include Where’s the Elephant? and Welcome!