Juanito Counts to Ten / Johnny cuenta hasta diez

A Bilingual Counting Book

By: Lee Merrill Byrd
Illustrator: Francisco Delgado

Johnny is four years old and he LOVES to dish out kisses.



Johnny is four years old and he LOVES to dish out kisses.

A bilingual counting book for pre-schoolers. Juanito wakes up so happy he delivers wonderful kisses to everybody—to his bossy sister, his mother on the couch, his father the pitcher, Stray Grey the Cat, but he saves 10 for his grandmother! That's when he got the nickname Lover Boy and the idea for this counting book was born.

Then artist Francisco Delgado jumped into the fun. He imagined hearts and kisses flying in the perfect space created by Johnny's happiness, but the inspiration for Francisco's exuberant paintings was Francisco's own son Pedro. So Lover Boy was inspired by two boys and is dedicated to all young children in the world: may they always overflow with kisses!

Lover Boy kisses for Mama

7 reviews for Juanito Counts to Ten / Johnny cuenta hasta diez

  1. Kirkus Reviews
    “Delgado’s exuberant illustrations perfectly embody the spirit of ‘lover boy’ Johnny/Juanito, an affectionate child who is always ready with a kiss for those her loves—his daddy, his momma, his teacher and especially his grandmother, who receives the full measure of ten.

    The kisses, increasing in number from one to ten, fly across the page like balloons with strings attached. Some go by mail, to a friend in Hawaii; others are spurned by Beatriz, whom he loves unrequitedly—they get popped by her dog and fall hopelessly to the ground—or by his big sister, who sticks out her tongue as Johnny parcels out only a ‘little tiny one.’ The characters’ exaggerated round cheeks and big eyes resemble the faces of dolls and will feel immediately familiar and welcoming to preschoolers and the youngest readers. The author of the recent adult title Ringside Seat to a Revolution (2005) offers a fluid Spanish version of the text.

    A winning story of love of family and friends.”

  2. Midwest Book Review
    “A welcome addition to family, school, and community library bilingual book collections for children, Lover Boy / Juanito el Carinoso is very highly recommended as a fun and entertaining guide to counting in English and Spanish.

    Lover Boy features charming illustrations by Francisco Delgado and provides young children ages 6 and up with a fun and creative approach to counting in both Spanish and English. Lover Boy/Juanito el Carinoso is a picture book tale of one young boy named Johnny who was very affectionate and expressed it through giving kisses, earning him the nickname of ‘Lover Boy.’

    Following Lover Boy through his journey of counting and kissing, Lover Boy / Juanito el Carinoso will thoroughly entertain children while they learn to count in two languages. A welcome addition to family, school, and community library bilingual book collections for children, Lover Boy / Juanito el Carinoso is very highly recommended as a fun and entertaining guide to counting in English and Spanish.”

  3. Críticas
    “PreSchool-Grade 2-Byrd and Delgado present a very artistic—and yet very fun-loving-little counting book. Juanito has lots of kisses for everybody. He has kisses for friends, relatives, and even stray animals. Based on the true story of Byrd’s grandson, the story rings true and brims with warmth. Each page has one sentence in English and one in Spanish about each of Juanito’s 10 kisses. The bright, clear, and slightly cartoonish illustrations—in which heart-shaped kisses fly between Juanito and the object of his affection—are very likely to amuse children.

    Highly recommended for bookstores and libraries.”

  4. School Library Journal
    “This tender story captures a boy at that stage of early childhood when he bestows kisses grandly and generously. The concept works out well as a counting book—one kiss for his bossy big sister, two for his tireless dad, three for mother lying on the couch, etc. His teachers, hair dresser—even the little girl who won’t kiss him back—receive his lavish displays of affection.

    The enthusiastic text is well adapted by the translator, rendered into Mexican slang terms such as la mera mera (for the big sister who thinks she’s the boss). Delgado’s saturated-color artwork is equally exuberant as it portrays a representative Southwestern Latino family. In a market replete with clever concept books, this one will no doubt find its special niche.”

  5. Oneota
    “What a delightful book! Readers of all ages will find this counting book engaging and fun. Juanito is just full of kisses, and he wants to make sure that all of the people in his life receive some. Juanito’s daddy, momma, big sister, teacher, and Beatriz (the girl who won’t kiss him back) are just a few of the characters in this colorful book. Illustrations are bold and lively, and Juanito’s emotions dance across each page. Lover Boy is a quality addition to any elementary classroom.”

  6. SpanglishBaby.com
    “The author of the book, Lee Merrill Byrd, does an awesome job of helping little ones learn how to count in both English and Spanish…Francisco Delgado’s illustrations are vibrant and the kisses come to life.

    I come from a family of besucones. In other words, I’m surrounded by those who love to give and receive tons of kisses. I’ve never been too much into it myself, that is, until my daughter was born almost four years ago and since then, I haven’t been able to stop showering her with kisses every chance I get. She’s a besucona too, so this has not been a problem. I still remember the first time she gave a ‘real’ kiss and I can’t wait for her baby brother to follow suit.

    I often ask mi hija to give me a ridiculous and impossible amount of kisses on each cheek, say two hundred and thirty five, so she’ll count as high as she knows—sometimes it’s up to 20, sometimes it’s up to diez y quince!—and then it’s just a combination of all the numbers she knows. We both enjoy playing this kissing game. I think it’s probably one of the reasons why she so loves Lover Boy|Juanito el Cariñoso, a Bilingual Counting Book from another one of our fave publishing houses, Cinco Puntos Press.

    But I’m convinced it also has to do with her love of numbers and counting out loud, showing off how much she know to whomever is around and is willing to indulge her. The author of the book, Lee Merrill Byrd—also the owner and publisher of Cinco Puntos Press—does an awesome job of helping little ones learn how to count in both English and Spanish by telling the story of four-year-old Juanito who is basically un besucón! The story line is simple and super easy to follow even for the littlest ones with Juanito dishing out kisses to all the people he loves including mami, papi, baby and, of course, abuelita! After all, this book is based on a real-life character, Byrd’s grandson Johnny who loved kissing everybody when he was very young…

    Francisco Delgado’s illustrations are vibrant and the kisses come to life as they are cleverly depicted as corazones—one of my daughter’s favorites, especially if they’re pink. When I read this book to Vanessa, she likes to take the time to count the hearts in both Spanish and English, like the true bilingüe that she is! Ha!

    If you’re looking to add a fun, bilingual book to your niño’s library which will also help them practice how to count in both languages, search no more!” Visit Website

  7. Review of Texas Books
    “Juanito Counts to Ten/ Johnny Cuenta Hasta Diez uses in the form of big hearts to count sequentially from one to ten in English and Spanish. Beginning with one and building to ten, Juanito gives a kiss or kisses to big sister, daddy, momma, teacher, friend birdie, Baby Ed, and last but not least, grandmother.

    Simple but bold, colorful illustrations by Francisco Delgado give interesting perspectives that children should relate to and enjoy.”—Andrea Karlin

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