Showing posts with label Davina Bell. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Davina Bell. Show all posts

Saturday, 29 September 2018

All the Ways to Be Smart


All the Ways to Be Smart by Davina Bell and Allison Colpoys (Scribble) HB RRP $24.99 ISBN 9781925713435 

Reviewed by Dianne Bates

‘Every hour of every day, we’re smart in our own special way’ reads the penultimate page of this rhyming picture book for readers aged 4 to 7 years. The aim of the book is to show the reader ‘how smart you are the whole day through’ which is certainly good for young egos.

Presented in mostly greens, oranges, blues and browns, the book shows children interacting with a host of beings, some other children and some monsters and some people like pirates, witches and clowns.

Numerous children, such as a red-haired boy, a brown girl, a boy wearing glasses and numerous others are shown being smart in numerous ways. These include being talented in arts and crafts: ‘Smart at drawing things with claws/facts about the dinosaurs’, and in treating other people humanely: ‘Smart is kindness when there’s crying’.

Basically, the book is a list of ways in which children can be smart, presented in rhyming couplets. It would read well aloud and allow small children to feel that they are accomplished as they recognise the skills which they already possess.

Sunday, 23 September 2018

All the Ways to Be Smart


All the Ways to Be Smart by Davina Bell and Allison Colpoys (Scribble) HB RRP $24.99 ISBN 9781925713435

Reviewed by Dianne Bates

‘Every hour of every day, we’re smart in our own special way’ reads the penultimate page of this rhyming picture book for readers aged 4 to 7 years. Presented in mostly greens, oranges, blues and browns, the book shows children interacting with a host of beings, some other children and some monsters and some people like pirates, witches and clowns.

The aim of the book is to show the reader ‘how smart you are the whole day through’. Numerous children, such as a red-haired boy, a brown girl, a boy wearing glasses and numerous others are shown being smart in numerous ways. These include being talented in arts and crafts: ‘Smart at drawing things with claws/facts about the dinosaurs’, and in treating other people humanely: ‘Smart is kindness when there’s crying’.

Basically, the book is a list of ways in which children can be smart, presented in rhyming couplets. It would read well aloud and allow small children to feel that they are accomplished as they recognise the skills which they already possess.

Saturday, 3 January 2015

The Underwater Fancy-Dress Parade

The Underwater Fancy-Dress Parade by Davina Bell, illustrated by Allison Colpoys (Scribe Publications)
HB RRP $24.99
ISBN 9781025106206
Reviewed by Dianne Bates
 

Alfie gets ‘that feeling’ the day before he is to take part in an Underwater Fancy-Dress Parade. It’s not clear what ‘that feeling’ is – anxiety or lack of self-confidence – but Alfie’s experienced it previously when faced with participating in running races or a game at a party. Both times he’s escaped having to participate. With his parents’ encouragement he tries to overcome the feeling but he’s not convinced he can cope.

At night his sleep is disturbed by a sea-life nightmare and in the morning he tells his mother he can’t possibly go to the parade. Instead, Mum takes Alfie to an aquarium. There the small boy sees a clownfish which emerges from a coral forest. This small creature gives him the confidence to decide that in future he too will face the world.

The message of hope and how a problem is resolved is so understated in this picture book that it might not be obvious to a youngster unless he or she has a parent who can explain that even the smallest creature can stand out from a crowd.

The cover of the book and the interior illustrations seem old-fashioned with a limited palette of greys, blues, brown and fluorescent orange. Children will most likely find humour in a child dressing as a starfish to go to parade, an octopus wearing a small hat and a boy carrying the ocean (and a giant whale). The targeted readership is children aged 3 to 7 years.