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All the Ways to be Smart


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About the Author

Davina Bell is a writer from Western Australia. She is the author of the award-winning picture book The Underwater Fancy-Dress Parade, which won the 2016 Australian Book Industry Award for Best Children's Book from a Small Publisher, and Under the Love Umbrella, which was shortlisted for the same award in 2018 (both illustrated by Allison Colpoys). She is also author of the 'Alice' books in the bestselling Our Australian Girl series. For six years she was a Senior Editor at Penguin Books in the Young Readers Division, where she worked with some of our country's most beloved children's book creators. Davina lives and works in Melbourne, where she still dreams about the Western Australian beaches while drinking a lot of very good Melbourne coffee. Allison Colpoys is an award-winning designer and illustrator, and the Associate Art Director at Scribe Publications. Her picture books include The Underwater Fancy-Dress Parade, Under the Love Umbrella, If All the World Were... and All the Ways To Be Smart. As well as receiving numerous Australian Book Design Awards for her illustration and cover design, she has won the CBCA Crichton Award for Best New Talent and an Australian Book Industry Award. As a freelancer, Allison is represented by the Jacky Winter Group.


'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 *

'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 *

'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 *

'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 *

'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

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

* Parent Talk *

'[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 *

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

-- Sue Wilsher * Carousel *

'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 *

'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 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 *

'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 *

'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

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