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How We Are Smart Book Review

{This giveaway is CLOSED}

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Thank you for participating and please enjoy this review!

I have a fabulous multicultural children’s book to share with you from Lee & Low Books!  The book, How We Are Smart, features several hand-picked individuals from history who have made a name for themselves through their various talents and ambitions.  Written by W. Nikola-Lisa and illustrated by Sean Qualls, this picture book highlights the achievements of greats like Tito Puente, Thurgood Marshall and Maria Tallchief.


This book would be an excellent addition to any family’s library!  The caricatures are fun and interesting, but beyond that, this book makes a point of acknowledging a diverse group of successful Americans and each of their unique talents!  How We Are Smart explains that there are eight different kinds of smart, which include “Self Smart”, “Word Smart” and “Logic Smart”.  Each of these is based upon the theory of “multiple intelligences,” which suggests that there are many different ways to be smart and that each individual has a number of traits, interests and activities that help them to cultivate their specific form of intelligence.



This picture book includes an inspirational quote from each of the twelve individuals featured, along with a fun poem about their life experiences and accomplishments, and a brief biography.  The book is laid out in a way that invites children to learn more and also to believe in the power of their own talents.  The diversity of characters and talents showcased in this book ensures that each child can find at least one character who they can personally connect with and find inspiration in.  I love this book for the simple fact that it shows kids that being smart isn’t just about math and science, and it’s not something that can only be achieved by individuals who fit a specific set of traits.  Everyone can be smart in their own way.  Being smart is about pursuing your interests and dedicating yourself to achieving your dreams. For me, this is a very important message, not only because my daughter will likely struggle with having individuals questioning her identity and capabilities, but also because my husband is Dyslexic and I’ve seen the hurt that pigeon-holed thinking can bring.  My husband isn’t a test-taker and doesn’t excel in the traditional way.  Instead, he is successful and smart in many other ways.  Regrettably, these talents aren’t as often acknowledged and there are no tests or standards that aim to reward them.  This book makes those talents real for our kids and that in itself, makes it worth owning.



{Enter the Giveaway!}


How to win:

Leave a comment below about why you’d love to have this book or what you think you’ll like about it based on the review!  For your comment to count, you must also leave your email address. You can do this privately by logging into Disqus comments as a Guest and including your email address in the login form.

To increase your odds of winning, here’s how you can get extra entries: Each instruction below counts as one extra entry. Make sure that you LEAVE A SEPARATE COMMENT for each of your extra entries stating that you have completed each entry.


  1. Follow @LEEandLOW and @biculturalmom on Twitter and Tweet about the contest! { Win “How We Are Smart” from @biculturalmom! http://bit.ly/mPW3KQ #giveaway #contest #childrensbook }
  2. ‘Like’ Lee & Low Books and Bicultural Mom on Facebook!
  3. Subscribe to the Bicultural Mom RSS feed or weekly email updates!


The Rules: All entries must be submitted by 12 am on Monday, June 13th (Sunday night). You must have a valid U.S. address to enter. Remember to leave a separate comment for each entry. The winner will be selected using Random.org and will be notified via email. (Please be sure to provide a valid email address with your entry.)  You’ll have 48 hours to reply and claim your prize, otherwise a new winner will be chosen.

Disclosure: The opinions above are my own and I haven’t received any compensation for this review.   Lee & Low Books graciously supplied the giveaway item so that all participants could have a chance at winning this fabulous book.   If you’re selected as the winner, Lee & Low will contact you via email and promptly ship your prize. How We Are Smart is also available for purchase at Lee & Low Books.


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  • Suzanne Kamata
    June 2, 2011 at 8:44 am

    Actually, this book has been on my TBR list for awhile. I’d like to get it for my son, who goes to a Japanese school where intelligence is based upon test scores. I want him to know that there are many ways to be smart. And even if he isn’t good in some areas, that doesn’t mean he’s stupid.

    • Chantilly Pati&ntild
      June 2, 2011 at 7:00 am

      Thank you so much for stopping by Suzanne.  That's a really good point and the main purposes of "multiple intelligences" is to dismantle the stifling and judgement that comes with standardized testing.  It's a terrible practice and it does tear down our children's self-esteem in many ways.  I hope that one way or another, this book will find it's way to you.  Beyond it's own intentions, this book is a valuable resource.  In the final pages there is a summary of each of the "multiple intelligences", a list of activities that you can do with your child to encourage individuality and creativity, and some amazing books, videos and websites referenced that would be great resources for any parent or educator.  Having a husband who struggles with Dyslexia has opened my eyes to the cruelty of standardized testing.  He was pushed to the side, seen as stupid and they never acknowledged all the other amazing intelligences that he possesses.  It's heartbreaking and unnecessary. ♥

  • Ezzy Guerrero-Languz
    June 2, 2011 at 8:15 am

    The message and illustrations of this book are beautiful. Great concept! I'd love to share these "eight different kinds of smart" with our son. I think personal success should be defined by finding one's life passion. A good message for adults, too. : )

    • Chantilly Pati&ntild
      June 2, 2011 at 8:42 am

      I think you'd love this book.  It's really interesting and laid out in a friendly and not too long-winded way.  Just the kind of book that invites kids to learn more.  Also, I think it's awesome that acknowledges all the different kinds of smart that people can have. ♥

  • Mary Jane Coward
    June 2, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    I teach kindergarten. The kids may not understand it all but I'm sure the pictures will help. I'd share with other teachers at my school also.

  • Mary Jane Coward
    June 2, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    New subscriber :)

  • Chantilly Pati&ntild
    June 2, 2011 at 6:49 pm

    Thanks for entering Mary!  My daughter's 2 1/2 and she can't quite understand it yet, but we have fun looking at the pictures and she tries to guess each profession (she loves the ballerina!) and I explain to her about each of the talents and tell her how she's good at that too!  :)  She enjoys it. ♥

  • Anonymous
    June 8, 2011 at 2:17 am

    I would enjoy this book because we are a multicultural family. It would be nice to read the stories of other multicultural people. It’s something that can be shared with my daughter when she’s old enough to understand (she’s 2 now).

    • Chantilly Pati&ntild
      June 12, 2011 at 7:12 pm

      Awesome!  My daughter's about the same age and she loves the pictures.  The poems are fun to read with toddlers too, since they respond to rhyming lyrics so young.  A great book for any age.  :)

  • Chantilly Pati&ntild
    June 13, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    Hey, just wanted to let you know that you are the winner!  Unfortunately, I don't see an email address for you.  Please get back to me by Wednesday night!  :)

  • Anonymous
    June 27, 2011 at 11:36 am

    I would like to win the book because I teach English to English Language Learners and it looks perfect for that!