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Who Counts?: 100 Sheep, 10 Coins, and 2 Sons

Who Counts?: 100 Sheep, 10 Coins, and 2 Sons

4.7 3
by Amy-Jill Levine, Sandy Eisenberg Sasso, Margaux 0 Meganck (Illustrator)

“One sheep makes a difference. Without her something is missing. Now my flock is complete.”

Oh, no! The man is missing his sheep! The woman is missing her coin! The father is missing his son! Can you help them find what they are looking for?

Who Counts? is a creative retelling of three popular parables: the lost sheep, the lost


“One sheep makes a difference. Without her something is missing. Now my flock is complete.”

Oh, no! The man is missing his sheep! The woman is missing her coin! The father is missing his son! Can you help them find what they are looking for?

Who Counts? is a creative retelling of three popular parables: the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the prodigal son. As young readers count to help the characters find what’s missing, Who Counts? teaches that every one of us counts in God’s eyes and that everyone should feel counted.

The stories are beautifully illustrated with modern-day characters and a diversity of ethnicities so that all children will be able to see themselves in the stories.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Levine and Sasso present contemporary retellings of the three biblical parables with numerical themes: the good shepherd, lost coin, and prodigal son. In the first, a Caucasian farmhand in a plaid shirt and cowboy hat temporarily loses one of his 100 sheep; in the similar second parable, an African-American woman scours her midcentury modern home for a lost silver drachma, celebrating its discovery with a party for the women in town. In the longer final story, Meganck pictures the father and sons as a Latino family running a vast farm. All three stories are true to their biblical roots, but Meganck’s handsome paintings of diverse characters and present-day settings may help readers find greater connections to their messages about value, faithfulness, and appreciation—and it doesn’t hurt that each parable ends with a party. Ages 3–8. (May)
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2—Three of Jesus's parables from the New Testament are retold here with a secular twist. Each parable is about something or someone lost: a sheep, a coin, and a son. In scripture, human repentance and God's forgiveness are integral to these stories; however, repentance and forgiveness are not mentioned in the sheep or coin parable, and references to God and Jesus are omitted overall. A note to teachers and parents in the back of the book reads, "Our presentation of these parables does not intend to erase the focus on repenting and forgiving. Rather, we seek to add a new understanding based on what we imagine Jesus' original audiences would have heard." The strongest story is that of the prodigal son, and the weakest is the one about the lost coin (when the woman finds her lost coin, she puts it back with her "coin collection," making it look as if the coins did not represent her life savings, but only a hobby). The narratives are light and conversational in tone. Some passages have a storyteller's cadence. For example, when the shepherd goes to look for his lost sheep, "he looked to the right. Nothing. He walked and listened. Still nothing. Then he heard it: a bleating sound." Meganck's use of color and soft lines is similar to Tomie dePaola's style. VERDICT An uneven presentation, unlikely to circulate well.—Jennifer Prince, Buncombe County Public Libraries, NC
Kirkus Reviews
Three parables of Jesus from the Christian Bible are retold with modern-day settings and characters.Levine (Jewish Studies/Vanderbilt) and Sasso, a rabbi, use diverse settings and a multicultural cast of characters to recount the parables of the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the prodigal son. "One Hundred Sheep" is set on a contemporary ranch with a bearded, white shepherd in plaid flannel shirt, jeans, and cowboy boots. He notices when just one of his flock goes missing and searches until he finds her. "Ten Coins" is the story of a brown-skinned woman with dark, curly hair who temporarily misplaces one of her silver coins, identified in the text as drachmas, although that term is not further defined. "Two Sons," the longest story in the collection, recounts the story of a father's relationship with his two adult sons. The father and sons have light-brown skin and dark, curly hair. Each story ends with a celebration including neighbors and friends of different ethnicities. The confident, cheery tone of the text is well-matched with appealing illustrations that effectively convey the emotions of the characters. The large trim size makes this an excellent choice for reading to a group, and no prior knowledge of the specific Bible stories is necessary for comprehension. A thoughtful authors' note to parents and teachers offers interpretation of the three parables, discussion suggestions, and source references for the biblical texts. An unusual and creative interpretation of the three parables, offering the satisfying conclusion that each person (or sheep or coin) matters and should be counted. (Picture book/religion. 5-8)

Product Details

Presbyterian Publishing
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
9.20(w) x 11.10(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
6 - 9 Years

Meet the Author

Amy-Jill Levine is E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Professor of New Testament Studies and Professor of Jewish Studies at Vanderbilt University. For more details on the parables, see her Short Stories by Jesus: The Enigmatic Parables of a Controversial Rabbi.

Sandy Eisenberg Sasso is the Director of Religion, Spirituality and the Arts Initiative at Butler University. She is Rabbi Emerita of Congregation Beth-El Zedeck and an author of many award-winning children’s books.

Margaux Meganck is a freelance artist and children’s book illustrator in Portland, Oregon. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.

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Who Counts?: 100 Sheep, 10 Coins, and 2 Sons 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
lolly-pops 3 months ago
WHO COUNTS is a cute hardcover children's book. When I saw it offered on Netgalley, I thought it'd be a fun book to review. It was a devil to open though as my computer was not compatible with my computer with the weird form it was sent in, so my husband had to open it and put it in a document for me to be able to read and review. There are some inaccuracies. The message in the parables wasn't that the woman was to blame for losing her coin as was implied in the story of the Ten Coins, and the father did invite the older son to the celebration when the younger son returned, so that was inaccurate. But all in all they were well told, beautifully illustrated, and should appeal to people of all nationalities as they are all represented in this book. "I was provided a free copy of this book. All opinions are my own."
GratefulGrandma 3 months ago
Who Counts? 100 Sheep, 10 Coins, and 2 Sons by Amy-Jill Levine, and Sandy Eisenberg Sasso is a modern version of three of the most commonly told parables of Jesus: The Lost Sheep, The Lost Coin and the Prodigal Son. The up-to-date story and the illustrations makes the story real for today's children. When the others ask why did one sheep count or one coin count, they ask the question many have thought. The idea that everyone counts is simple but very important, especially in this day and age. The story of the Prodigal Son shows that even thought the younger son made a mistake, his father still loved him. It also deals with the issue of taking someone for granted, which he did with the older son. These messages, although taken from the bible do not stress Christianity, but simple valuable lessons for living in this world. If the parent wanted to then talk about the Christian message, they could add that on their own. The note at the end for adults is a wonderful addition. It explains why the authors wrote the stories the way they did and why they did not mention Jesus or God in the stories. I love that anyone could use these stories no matter what their religious belief. I highly recommend this book for families with young children . The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book via Netgalley.
MaureenST 3 months ago
The first story is about a man who has 100 sheep, and looses one, and now his may concern is finding the lost one. The next is about a woman with 100 coins, and then looses one, and the rest of the story is her pursuit of finding the lost coin. As we get to the last story about the man’s lost son returning, we sort of see how loosing one, makes you yearn for its return and thus the man’s rejoicing for the returned one. What the perfect book examples of the parables, while geared to children ages 4 to 8, older and younger would still benefit. The story of the Prodigal Son is always a difficult one, but with the showing of how a person yearns for the lost one, it becomes much more clear for little minds, and maybe adult ones. I received this book through LibraryThing, and was not required to give a positive review.