All the Ways to Be Smart

(Author) (Illustrator)
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Product Details
$17.99  $16.73
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8.7 X 11.1 X 0.4 inches | 0.9 pounds

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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 Naarm/Melbourne, Australia. Allison is represented by the Jacky Winter Group for illustration.


"[A] parade of beauty that will give children of all backgrounds and interests confidence in their own uniqueness."
--The Irish Times

"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."
--The Guardian

"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 ... Colpoys' illustrations, showing a busy, multiracial, multi-gifted cast, convey joyous variety and abundant compassion."
--Toronto Star

"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 Reviews

"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

"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, memorizing information, math, and traditional academic knowledge ... This is a charming book to help children understand that everyone has special skills and talents."
--Catholic Library Journal

--Mariela Summerhays, Buzzfeed

"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 colorful 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

"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."
--Jessica Peterson White, 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

"It's time to rethink the meaning of smart -- a word that's often used to describe kiddos despite research that suggests it's best avoided. This heartwarming rhyming read will have your kids celebrating all of the things -- from being athletic to artistic and even empathetic or curious--that make them unique."
--MSN: 20 books that showcase diversity for kids