Biggest Cheerleader, Favourite Children’s Books of the Year —Books Are Magic


‘I wish my seven-year-old self had read these words of wisdom, but books are a reflection of society, and 30 years ago, most parents, like mine, believed that getting good grades at school was all that mattered; as a result, our self-esteem often rode on what we scored in tests and examinations. However, the very fact that this gorgeously buoyant and necessary picture book exists today is a heartening sign that there has already been a huge shift in parental and personal mindsets — and it’s about time, too … I just know that this is one of those special books that will find its way into many hands and hearts, and perhaps change a few lives along the way.’
—Eileen Sim, Picture This Book

‘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…This is honestly such a heartwarming, happy book and you can’t help but smile and nod along as you turn each page.’
—Courtney Adamo, Babycinno

‘Back with gusto is Davina Bell and Allison Colpoys, the third pairing of this powerhouse duo – producing what is in my mind a perfect picture book. Yep. I said it! With galloping rhyme and gorgeous illustrations, we leap through a landscape of creativity and kindness, cleverness and composure. ALL the ways to be smart. It’s a celebration of learning and play and learning through play.’
—Liam Daniels, @wordsandillustrations

‘Celebrate the myriad of ways smart exists in this affirming and whimsically detailed book. We honestly can’t recommend it enough.’
—Miranda Rosbach, @Bookbloom

‘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.”’

‘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…The energy of Bell’s rhyming couplets reflects the very inventiveness the book celebrates, the ebullience of kids’ imagination, emotional intelligence and practical talents. Climbing trees, making slime, inventing games. Colpoys’ illustrations, showing a busy, multiracial, multi-gifted cast, convey joyous variety and abundant compassion.’

—Deirdre Baker, Toronto Star


All the Ways to be Smart all over the world

All the Ways to be Smart has sold over 50k copies worldwide!
To celebrate, our publisher Miriam made this special ‘gold book’ (a DIY job using a lot of spray paint and super glue…scroll through for pics)—our own take on the gold record tradition—to author and illustrator Davina Bell and Allison Colpoys.
After seeing instant success in both Australia and the UK, we launched All the Ways to be Smart as Scribble’s first North American title in September 2019. Since then this brilliant book has already sold through the first print run, been Book of the Month at Tattered Cover in Colorado, and selected as one of Books Are Magic’s favourite children’s books of the year.
This book is finding its way into the hearts of families all over the world and we couldn’t be prouder to be part of its journey. Thank you to all the booksellers, librarians, and readers who have loved and shared this special book.

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