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All the Ways to be Smart: the beautifully illustrated international bestseller that celebrates the talents of every child

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The purpose of this book is to boost self-esteem and let kids know they can be smart even if it's not in the conventional, academic sense. Education is forced into adopting a standardised testing framework, and to prioritise a narrow band of skills and behaviours - compliance, reading, writing, maths - or risks losing its funding. 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. The reality is, for very young children all those abilities are intermingled and inextricably woven with play.

It looks as though printed via lithograph, and with a bold, strong font the harks back to a few decades ago, Bell and Colpoys take a diverse perspective on what it means to be smart, and who can be smart. Being smart is building boats from boxes, painting pirates, wheeling wagons, being mermaids and riding dragons.A picture book that is joyous, life-affirming, and challenges stereotypes about what it means to be clever. And Bell means that, given the exploration of imagination, creativity, math, science, and leadership.

I think everyone will find something here to make them feel better about themselves (and appreciate those around them). That's not to say it didn't open an interesting conversation because we did talk about what smart means, although I don't think that was by design.stars for the illustrations but no stars for the text I'm afraid, reading lists can be really boring! 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. Vibrant colours and charming whimsical illustrations fill the pages with character, and the rhythmic, rhyming text makes it a delight to read out loud. 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. We acknowledge the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung of the Kulin Nations — the first and continuing custodians of the land on which our books are created.

Australian author/illustrator team Davina Bell and Allison Colpoys, who previously collaborated on Captain Starfish (originally published as The Underwater Fancy-Dress Parade) and Under the Love Umbrella, join forces again in this lovely picture-book exploration of intelligence. Allison Colpoys’ illustrations shimmer with vibrancy; her loose-line illustrations and selective colour palette exuding a nostalgic charm.It places value in every kind of talent, from ‘building boats from boxes’ to ‘kindness when there’s crying’. This book is perfect for a KS1 class but would also be interesting to read with year 6 to get a deeper conversation about what "smart" means to each of them and how it has been taught throughout their schooling so far. Many facets of 'being smart' are covered in this exploration of brilliance including: creativity, spacial awareness, ingenuity, empathy, numeracy .

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