Multicultural Children’s Book Review: “How We Are Smart”

I recently had the opportunity to read and review the multicultural children’s book, How We Are Smart, which features several hand-picked individuals from history who have made a name for themselves through their various talents and ambitions.  The book, written by W. Nikola-Lisa and illustrated by Sean Qualls, highlights the achievements of greats like Tito Puente, Thurgood Marshall and Maria Tallchief.

I’m pleased with the great insights in this book.  It’s thoughtful, inclusive and makes the point to children that there is more than one way to be successful and that a variety of talents can lead to achievement.  This book is helpful for families that want to teach their children about the diversity that exists between us and that those differences are what help us to perfect our unique talents.

It’s a great educational resource. 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.

How We Are Smart is fun and interesting. This beautifully illustrated 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.  It’s laid out simply and colorfully, 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 allows children the opportunity to find confidence in the fact that important figures in American history look like them and share their talent.  For me, this is a very important message, because my daughter will likely struggle with having individuals question her identity and capabilities as she grows.  Parents who are fans of the “Multiple Intelligences” or are looking for a great multicultural children’s book to add to your home or classroom bookshelf, this is one that’s worth owning.