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All the Ways to be Smart


Product Description
Product Details

About the Author

Davina Bell is an award-winning author of books for young readers of many ages. She writes picture books (including Under the Love Umbrella and All the Ways To Be Smart), as well as junior fiction, middle-grade fiction and YA. Davina lives in Melbourne, where she works as a children's book publisher. She talks to kids and adults around the country about the enchanting world of books and ideas. Allison Colpoys is an award-winning designer and illustrator based in Melbourne, Australia.


'This gorgeous rhyming picture book reinforces the message that smart isn't just ticks and crosses - it's also about being creative, adventurous, and having a good imagination ... A triumph.'

-- Natasha Harding * The Sun *

'Beautifully tender and life-affirming.'

-- Nathan Filer, author of The Shock of the Fall

'This colourful picture-book provides an alternative perspective on the culture of academic achievement by celebrating a diversity of talents ... Allison Colpoys's illustrations celebrate a diversity of cultures too, offering a parade of beauty that will give children of all backgrounds and interests confidence in their own uniqueness.'

-- Sara Keating * The Irish Times *

'The perfect book for children suffering from anxiety about SATs and other school tests.'

* Parent Talk *

'All The Ways to be Smart is an earnest and charming book celebrating the joys of all the wonderful qualities that make children who they are. The subtle and unique message is that getting excellent grades is not what makes you smart. Rather, it's the value of learning through play which is beautifully illustrated and will captivate children's imagination throughout the book.'

* Book Trust *

'An earnest and charming book celebrating the joys of all the wonderful qualities that make children who they are, with a subtle and unique message that getting excellent grades is not what makes you smart.'

-- Nursery World

'Every page of this book in joyous, imaginative and life-affirming ... All the Ways to be Smart is a celebration of what childhood can be, and it will likely become a classic.'

-- Louise Pfanner, bookseller and author/illustrator of the 'Louise Builds ...' series * Books+Publishing *

'A glorious celebration ... impossible to read without smiling. A powerful message told in a fun and engaging way!'

-- Sue Wilsher * Carousel *

'This book is funny and tender, exuberant and whimsical, and an absolute joy to pore over ... Colpoys' distinctive illustrations fizz with her trademark charm and vivacity; the colours burst out of the page with wild abandonment.'

-- Bronte Coates * Readings *

'Joyful and vibrant ... Allison Colpoys' illustrations shimmer with movement and vivacity, with her loose-line illustrations and selective colour palette exuding a nostalgic retro charm. Children will want to pore over each page, while the seamless read-out-loud rhyming pattern will ensure this is a favourite for years to come.'

* Kids' Book Review *

'All the Ways to be Smart is a brilliant, gorgeous book bursting with unconventional magic spells that prove science is so much more than mere logic, and that being smart is above all about being happy. A feast for the eyes and heart, full of foolproof methods to enchant and inspire young minds.'

-- Mika Provata-Carlone * Bookanista *

'It's highly likely every child who reads this book will find something in it that shows they too are smart.'

* School Reading List *

'A wonderful book about all the different ways to be smart.'

* A Bundle of Books bookshop *

'A joyous, life-affirming, imaginative celebration!'

* Crediton Community Bookshop *

'Vibrant, fun and empowering ... it should be on everyone's bookshelf!'

-- The Book Nook bookshop

'[C]onfidence-boosting, jaunty and inclusive.'

-- Lucy Chambers * The School Librarian *

'This picture book from Australia has glowing colours that seem to leap off the page and rhyming text that children will very much enjoy chanting ... The book is a jumbly rumble of busy, bright colours and kids doing fun things - along with di-nosaurs, birds and flowers and all kinds of creatures. It will appeal and help chil-dren who feel less than academically inclined to realise their own potential and do their best with their own talents and abilities.'

-- Elizabeth Schlenther * Books for Keeps *

'A wonderful book for children. [There are] more ways than one to be smart.'

* Urmston bookshop *

'What makes you smart? Is it making things, having a good imagination, being kind? This book lets every small person know they have something special.'

* Owl and Pyramid bookshop *

'A wonderful book, teaching children about their own qualities and personalities.'

* Dartmouth bookseller *

'I think this unique book with colourful illustrations by Allison Colpoys can help children feel proud of what makes them special.'

* Mummy in the City *

'The book, All the Ways to Be Smart, aims to teach children that there is more to being smart than reading to maths and encourages the pursuit of the arts.'

* The Leader *

'All The Ways to be Smart is the most beautiful, brilliant new picture book. Full stop. Charming illustrations in pretty, appealing colours? Check. Great rhyming text that is super fun to read aloud? Check. A wonderful message conveyed in a beautiful non-judgey way? Check. The book is a joyful celebration of childhood and all the different, unique ways to be smart.'

-- Courtney Adamo * Babyccino *

'This collaboration between Davina Bell and Alison Colpoys is a celebration of what makes us us, of the strengths that we all have within ourselves - whether we're dreamers, adventurers, readers or artists ... The illustrations are whimsical and fun, with a beautiful colour palette.'

* Noveltea Corner *

'After a colourful, rollicking, joyful, rhyming read there is only one word for this book: wise. Good scores in a test are great but the importance of celebrating the creative, collaborative and just plain quirky things that make us emotionally intelligent and well-rounded could not have been better portrayed.'

* Readings 'Best Picture Books of 2018' *

'This book needs to be in the hands of every policy-maker in the sphere of Education, in every classroom, in every library, and in every home ... This book is an utterly glorious call to celebrate your strengths and your own unique smarts.'

* Oh Creative Day *

'From the dynamic partnership of Davina Bell and Allison Colpoys comes a tender, funny, and exquisitely illustrated picture book celebrating the myriad talents that each child brings to the world, from being able to read or tell the time to being good at blowing bubbles.'

* Good Reading *

'A celebration of creativity and emotional intelligence featuring a diverse cast of kids. A reassuring read for primary-aged children who feel like a round peg in a square, academic hole.'

-- Philippa Chandler * Guardian Australia *

'All the Ways to Be Smart by Davina Bell and Allison Colpoys is a joyous picture book that enthusiastically celebrates the power of the imagination while challenging stereotypes about what it means to be clever. With its flawless rhymes and winning illustrations, this book has all the makings of a classic.'

* Sydney Morning Herald *

'This book teaches children that intelligence is so much more than being book-smart. Intelligence can also mean being empathetic, artistic, athletic, and inquisitive. It places value in every kind of talent, from 'building boats from boxes' to 'kindness when there's crying'. All the Ways to Be Smart is the perfect feel-good bedtime story that I can't wait to gift this Christmas.'

-- Sherry Landow * Writing NSW *

'Simple, flowing words coupled with fluorescent illustrations (created from ink, charcoal, and pencil, then digitally assembled) give young readers a book brimming with examples of how they are smart all day, every day ... Realistic illustrations show children of varying racial presentations joining sentient animals and benign, hairy monsters to confidently explore their world, real and imagined.'

* Kirkus Review *

'In this cheerful exploration of all the nonstandard ways a person can be smart, the creators paint an expansive picture of intelligence that goes well beyond 'being best/at spelling bees,/a tricky test.' ... Colpoys's ink, charcoal, and pencil drawings burst with a profusion of neon orange and green, literally highlighting each scene with an incandescence that more than matches the rhyming couplets' jauntiness. A feel-good paean to individuality.'

* Publishers Weekly *


-- Mariela Summerhays * Buzzfeed Australia *

'This illustrated picture book is an ode the unique and wonderful qualities that make children who they are. It celebrates the special strengths, skills and passions in each of us.'

-- Fiona Stager * Tweed Daily News *

'A picture book that is joyous, life-affirming, and challenges stereotypes about what it means to be clever.'

-- Jane Sullivan * The Age *

'For any child who has ever worried about being 'smart', Australian author Bell and artist Colpoys offer an expansive, reassuring look at the many ways there are to be that way ... The energy of Bell's rhyming couplets reflects the very inventiveness the book celebrates, the ebullience of kids' imagination, emotional intelligence and practical talents. Climbing trees, making slime, inventing games ... Colpoys' illustrations, showing a busy, multiracial, multi-gifted cast, convey joyous variety and abundant compassion.'

* Toronto Star *

'All the Ways to Be Smart by Davina Bell explores multiple intelligences in a way that small children can understand and appreciate. Every child is smart in his or her own way. Some of the ways highlighted in a pleasing rhyme include creativity, physical activities, music, emotional sensitivity, memorising information, math, and traditional academic knowledge ... The illustrations by Allison Colpoys are colourful and inviting, reminiscent of the early Dr. Seuss style ... This is a charming book to help children understand that everyone has special skills and talents.'

* Catholic Library Journal *

'What does it mean to be smart? This beautiful book inventories all the unique, not-so-academic ways a person might be smart throughout their day; from being good at taking risks, to being kind, or knowing how to sit quietly and observe. A welcome message that is a delight to share with students with its gentle and warm rhyming text. The illustrations depict a wide array of diverse people and creatures in colourful scenes that take up the whole page. A gorgeous addition to school and public libraries, and a lovely gift for any child.'

* Southeast Pennsylvania School Library Book Reviewers *

'What does it mean to be smart? This beautiful book inventories all the unique, not-so-academic ways a person might be smart throughout their day; from being good at taking risks, to being kind, or knowing how to sit quietly and observe. A welcome message that is a delight to share with students with it's gentle and warm rhyming text. The illustrations depict a wide array of diverse people and creatures in colourful scenes that take up the whole page. A gorgeous addition to school and public libraries, and a lovely gift for any child.'

* SE Pennsylvania School Library Book Review *

'This book celebrates the myriad ways one can be smart - knowing the right thing to say, being welcoming to a shy friend, using your imagination, taking chances. A needed reassurance that tests can't measure everything, and that we need all kinds of kids to create a smart and inventive world. This book is comforting, inspiring, and fun!'

-- Bethany Strout * Staff Pick, Tattered Cover *

'An important reminder for readers of all ages that there are so many wonderful ways to be smart. Vibrant colours and charming whimsical illustrations fill the pages with character, and the rhythmic, rhyming text makes it a delight to read out loud. A necessary and joyful celebration of all the different things that we can do, from 'reading, writing, spelling' to 'caring, sharing, scaring' to my personal favourite 'drawing very pointy stars'.'

-- Sarah R. * Staff Pick, Powell's *

'This should be required reading - in families, at workplaces, in schools. I love this beautiful, confidence-building book. I think everyone will find something here to make them feel better about themselves (and appreciate those around them).'

-- Tegan Tigani * Bookseller Review, Queen Anne Book Company *

'[G]orgeous, accessible, simple, true and brilliant. Everything I want in a picture book.'

* Bookseller Review, Content Book Store *

'I remember feeling so frustrated as a child because I wanted there to be more than one meaning of 'smart'. This book validates how everyone is smart in their own unique way. I want to share this book with every child (and adult!)'

-- Lafe Cantrall * Bookseller Review, Oblong Books & Music *

'Smart is as unique as each of us and there are infinite ways to be smart. What if we all grew up with this message, imagine the doors it would open and the opportunities it would provide. One of the most pivotal messages that children need to hear and illustrated with a brilliant spectrum of colours that leap from the page and right into the heart.'

-- Jesica Sweedler DeHart * Librarian Review, Neill Public Library *

'A joyful ode to all the unique and wonderful qualities that make children who they are.'

* OX *

'It's a great resource for raising confident, happy kids who love themselves and others!'

-- Dani Maher * Kidspot *

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