So Many Smarts! by Michael Genhart

So Many Smarts!

Michael Genhart, PhD, Author

Holly Clifton-Brown, Illustrator

Magination Press, Fiction, Sep. 12, 2017

Suitable for Ages: 4-8

Themes: Individuality, Smarts, Abilities, Differences, Social skills, Friendship

Opening: Did you know there’s more than one kind of Smart? In fact, there are many! Where do we start? No two people show their Smarts the same way. Each of us is different, and that’s A-Okay!

SynopsisSo Many Smarts! introduces kids to a variety of “smarts” and teaches them that there is more than one way to be smart. It encourages readers to look at their own combination of brain power and skills to determine how they might learn best, excel, and be themselves. Based on the theory of multiple intelligences, this book shows kids that all of the different skills they have require various types of smarts as well as how they can celebrate their differences.

Why I like this book:

Today I am singing the praises of Michael Genhart’s book. It wowed me! While reading, writing and  mathematics are important skills, there are other skills that make children smart. So Many Smarts inspires children to explore a variety of skills through a delightful array of animals who show them many ways to be smart. There is a bear detective following clues. A flamingo playing a ukulele. A pelican playing catch on an iceberg. A fox reading a book. An ape drawing a rocket. A rabbit band playing and dancing to music.

The book emphasizes how the animals are good at different things. Children will have fun identifying the skills that make them unique.  It encourages them to hone in on their own special capabilities and talents — their own special Smarts. This story will really resonate with children, parents and teachers.

Holly Clifton-Brown combines traditional painting, mixed media and collage with contemporary technique to create imaginative visual language. Genhart’s rhyming text flows nicely giving the bold illustrations time to tease children’s imaginations.

Favorite lines:

No one Smart is better than another.

Your own mix of Smarts will take you far, help you learn, do your best, and be who you are.

References: A Note to Parents, Caregivers, and Educators offers more information about the different smarts outlined in the book and ways to support children exploring their unique strengths. This is a perfect classroom book.

Michael Genhart PhD, is the author of Peanut Butter & Jellyous, Cake & I Scream!, Mac & Geeeez!, I See You, and Ouch Moments: When Words Are Used in Hurtful Ways.

Every Friday, authors and KidLit bloggers post a favorite picture book. To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books (PPB) with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s website.

About Patricia Tiltonhttps://childrensbooksheal.wordpress.comI want "Children's Books Heal" to be a resource for parents, grandparents, teachers and school counselors. My goal is to share books on a wide range of topics that have a healing impact on children who are facing challenges in their lives. If you are looking for good books on grief, autism, visual and hearing impairments, special needs, diversity, bullying, military families and social justice issues, you've come to the right place. I also share books that encourage art, imagination and creativity. I am always searching for those special gems to share with you. If you have a suggestion, please let me know.

15 thoughts on “So Many Smarts! by Michael Genhart

  1. Another important book. It is important because kids need to know that not everyone is academic and the world needs other kinds of smart. My brother who did not do well in school became a plumber and pipefitter and made more money than any of us. Hs is now retired and lives in Thailand. His kind of smart may not have got him into a university but it fared him well. There are many other examples. Instead of children being made to feel bad, they should be encouraged to use the smarts they have. Starting young is crucial.


      • Considering our parents didn’t stray very far from where they were born, we do suffer from wanderlust! But if we look farther back, our ancestors did move across the ocean to live in Canada!!


  2. What a wonderful title and use of the kid-friendly word, “smarts”. We so need to value all sorts of gifts beyond academics and athleticism in school. I love your enthusiasm for this book.


    • Thank you Joanne! The title really spoke to me and I hope to parents and teachers. I’m sure it is something you do to encourage young people. It’s all about finding what you do best and are passionate about.


  3. I love the premise of this book. It sounds like the author made the topic kid-friendly and inspiring. I grew up feeling like I was not talented or as smart as others. I did not realize until I was an adult my own gifts. I am glad kids have books like this one. Thanks for recommending it.


  4. Patricia, this sounds like just my type of book. I love books that tell children it’s okay to be who they are, and to appreciate the unique gifts and talents of each one. This book sounds delightful. Thank you so much for alerting me to it.


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