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How Counting Came to Be

How Counting Came to Be

By Mandy MonathPublisher: Fearless Words PublishingISBN: 979-8-9893330-1-1Genre: Children's LiteraturePrice: 24.00
Available from: Amazon

In this comic and fanciful tale of courage and ingenuity, cave girl Ugh Poppi goes on a quest to provide for her family. When she meets a new friend, they discover the value of creative thinking and the power of numbers.

When their last gourd smashes to the ground, Ugh Poppi's cave family needs her help. She sets out on a perilous adventure to find the gourd patch beyond the Big Wide Open Place and across the Not-So-Far-Away River to gather enough gourds for her large family. When she meets a helpful stranger, it becomes clear they have a problem: cavemen don't know how to count. But Ugh Poppi, whose name means "girl-who-thinks-too-much," meets every challenge with imagination and a positive approach to problem solving. By working together, she and her new friend create an astonishing invention that will change everyone's life forever.

How Counting Came to Be is a beautifully illustrated and lively children's book in the tradition of Rudyard Kipling's Just So Stories. Whether read aloud or solo, this book provides a funny and charming adventure where thinking, persistence, and collaboration lead to a life-changing discovery about math and the world around us.

Mandy Monath is a writer of children’s books, poetry, essays, short stories, and plays. A native of North Carolina, her recent children’s book draws inspiration from her teaching experience both in schools and at home. Mandy has always written poetry and credits the North Carolina Poetry-in-the-Schools program for inspiring her and first publishing her work. Her collection of lyric poems, This Is Like That: Poems and Process (2022), was inspired by conversations with pastel artist, Barbara Garwood, about the similarities between painting and poetry.

She has also published pieces in various newspapers, including Christian Science Monitor and The Wall Street Journal. Two comic plays, Finders, Keepers and Manifestations of Idiosyncrasy in the Actualization of the Potential Work, written with co-author Karin Gleiter, have been staged at the Raleigh (NC) Little Theater and the Carrboro (NC) Arts Center. Mandy earned a B.A. from Salem College in Classics and English, and an M.A. in Comparative Literature from UNC-Chapel Hill, where she was a fiction reader for The Carolina Quarterly. She is a member of the North Carolina Poetry Society, North Carolina Writers’ Network, the Alliance of Independent Authors, and Pamlico Writers' Group. Mandy divides her time between Washington and Raleigh. She enjoys spending time with her family, reading and talking about books, walking on the Centennial Campus and along Washington Harbor, gardening anywhere, and going out to hear her husband and friends perform live music.


This funny book about a cave girl, whose name means ‘girl-who-thinks-too
much,’ delights the reader as it imagines how humans invented counting.
Children will laugh at the story and learn a positive approach to problem solving.

Radmila Sazdanovic, Mathematics, NC State

Mandy Monath’s How Counting Came to Be blew all my expectations out of
the water! The story itself was so endearing. . . If you liked Rudyard Kipling, if
you enjoy light but tall tales, this is just the book for you and your young
ones! . . . The illustrations are very well done. They bring a warm and inviting
tone to the book while also maintaining a professional look. . . .You will enjoy
the pictures as much as the story! I am glad to say I can wholeheartedly
recommend Mandy’s newest book for your shelf. Take the time to read it out
loud, you might find yourself smiling and laughing with the little ones in your

Meg Kanning, Reedsy Discovery