The small Australian publishing house Scribe are known for the excellence of their book design and All the Ways to be Smart is no exception. A great team of author Davina Bell and illustrator Allison Colpoys joyously recreate what it means to be a child. The text is in exuberant rhyme and affirms that all children are special and smart at something. “Smart is not just ticks and crosses, smart is building boats from boxes. Painting patterns, wheeling wagons, being mermaids, riding dragons…” The illustrations are coloured in a limited palette with bright orange, green and mid blue being the main colours of the drawings that are also exuberant and mirror the text perfectly. A book which is sure to make you feel better whenever you read it.
Inside the Villains is a very special monster of a book. It will need to be handled carefully but is absolutely worth sharing with children who know their fairy tale characters. The Giant, the Wolf and the Witch are examined in all their awful detail. Their strengths and weaknesses, their habits and habitats. Superb flap design and cut outs allow the reader to see inside the wolf’s stomach, the giant’s brain (very small) and scarily, under the witch’s skirts. Clothilde Perrin is the author of this book which is likely to become an heirloom in many families.