Knots on a Counting Rope

Bill Martin, Jr.; Illustrated by Ted Rand

Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)

In this poignant story, the counting rope is a metaphor for the passage of time and for a boy’s emerging confidence in facing his blindness.


Praise for Knots on a Counting Rope

"A rich tale of intergenerational love and respect.... It is a moving collaborative effort that reverberates long after the book is closed." --Publishers Weekly, starred review

Reviews from Goodreads



  • Bill Martin, Jr.; Illustrated by Ted Rand

  • Bill Martin, Jr. (1916-2004) was an elementary-school principal, teacher, writer, and poet. His more than 300 books, among them the bestselling classics Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?; Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?; Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What Do You See?; and Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, are a testament to his ability to speak directly to children. Martin held a doctoral degree in early childhood education. Born in Kansas, he worked as an elementary-school principal in Chicago before moving to New York City, where he worked in publishing developing innovative reading programs for schools. After several years, he devoted himself full-time to writing his children’s books. He lived in New York until 1993, when he moved to Texas. He lived in the east Texas woods, near the town of Commerce, until he passed away in 2004.  John Archambault is a poet, journalist, and storyteller who has collaborated with Bill Martin Jr. and Ted Rand on several books, including Barn Dance! and The Ghost-Eye TreeTed Rand (1915-2005) was a prolific artist whose illustrations appeared in several magazines and newspapers, as well as in numerous books for children. He collaborated with both Bill Martin, Jr. and John Archambault on many books, including Here Are My Hands.
  • Bill Martin Jr.


Available Formats and Book Details

Knots on a Counting Rope

Bill Martin, Jr.; Illustrated by Ted Rand

Booklist Editors' Choice, NCSS-CBC Notable Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies, Reading Rainbow Featured Book, School Library Journal Best Books of the Year
  • Trade Paperback


  • Hardcover