Title: All the Ways To Be Smart
Author: Davina Bell
Illustrator: Alison Colpoys
Published: October 2018
RRP: $24.99 AUD
I received a copy of All the Ways To Be Smart from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Smart is not just ticks and crosses,
smart is building boats from boxes.
Painting patterns, wheeling wagons,
being mermaids, riding dragons…
From the award-winning creators of The Underwater Fancy-dress Parade and Under the Love Umbrella comes this joyful ode to all the unique and wonderful qualities that make children who they are.
All the Ways To Be Smart is one of the loveliest children’s picture books I’ve read in a long time.
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. It is told through rhyme, words the roll of the tongue and create a beautifully lyrical story that children (and adults who like a well-told book) will enjoy listening to aloud time and time again.
The illustrations are whimsical and fun, with a beautiful colour palette. The vibrant green and orange theme of the front cover and book spine are continued through the pages giving a lovely sense of flow as you read it.
As a teacher of young children, I’ve always loved picture books – but there are picture books that are stories to be told once, and there are ones to be revisited. All the Ways To Be Smart is one of those books, and while it’s written for younger children, that doesn’t mean it can’t be appreciated by older children to – especially those who feel like they need to grow up too fast and that academic success is the only way to be ‘smart.’ It’s a great reminder that ‘smart’ doesn’t mean just one thing, and that no two people are exactly alike. In this was, this book is transformative – it can help remind us to be our true, authentic selves.
I’m so very grateful to have had the opportunity to read and review this book and I am looking forward to reading it with my class of students this coming week and celebrating all the ways that they are smart, too.
To hear my thoughts, feel free to check out my review video: