ALL THE WAYS TO BE SMART by Davina Bell

ALL THE WAYS TO BE SMART

by ; illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 8
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KIRKUS REVIEW

“Smart is not just being best / at spelling bees, a tricky test. / Or knowing all the answers ever… / Other things are just as clever.”

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. Smart at making—like gluing wings on Halloween bats, concocting slime, and “building boats from boxes.” Smart at understanding people—like offering sympathy, “saying hi and bye / to people when they feel all shy,” and “being sorry when you’re naughty.” Smart at “growing, throwing, / bubble blowing,” “crazy dances! Horsey prances! / Feeling scared but taking chances,” and even “sitting still and quiet for ages.” Realistic illustrations show children of varying racial presentations joining sentient animals and benign, hairy monsters to confidently explore their world, real and imagined. There is no narrative throughline as such, but double-page spreads are thematically unified. Children soar on dragons, lecture dinosaurs, play with pirates, show off in a circus, and explore space while always receiving the message that “every hour of every day, / we’re smart in our own special way. / And nobody will ever do… / the very same smart things as you.”

Affirming. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 3rd, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-947534-96-4
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Scribe
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 2019




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