“Count them I must, and count them I will!”


Age Range: 5 - 8 years
Grade Level: Kindergarten - 3
Paperback: 40 pages
Publisher: Dragonfly Books (January 7, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0385755198
ISBN-13: 978-0385755191

It is 1790, the year of the very first U.S. census, and the tallyman, Mr. Phineas Bump, must deliver a count that is "fair and true" of every citizen in the tiny town of Tunbridge. But the townspeople don't want to be counted! So when the determined Mr. Bump knocks on their doors, he finds...much more than he counted on! Will Tunbridge go down in history as the town theat tricked the tallyman? Will Phineas Bump get his number? Will oddly dressed farm animals play a part in these shenanigans? You can count on it!

This rollicking book mixes slapstick comedy into a clever trickster tale—while teaching an important lesson about how our government represents "the people."

Illustrated by S. D. Schindler.


"Charming and humorous, this book is certain to appeal to children—and to educators."—School Library Journal, starred review

"Count on teachers zeroing in on this nifty number."—Booklist

"Whether they’re reading on their own or getting the saga of Pepper vs. Bump read to them, youngsters are likely to laugh out loud as tricks on the tallyman are played, rescinded, and played again."—The Bulletin for the Center of Children's Books

Awards and Lists

  • A Junior Library Guild Selection
  • School Library Journal starred review and included on Best Books of the Year
  • Nominated for Rhode Island's Children's Book Award