How You Got So Smart

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Every stage in growing up has its own fun and challenges, and the adorable star of this book faces each one with gusto. As a baby, there's the taste-everything phase-whether it is meant to be eaten-or not! And as a toddler, there's the question-everything phase. But all the while baby is growing up and becoming a curious kid whose exploration of the world leads to amazing places and discoveries. He's come so far and learned so much, and now everyone is so proud of him!

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Overview

Every stage in growing up has its own fun and challenges, and the adorable star of this book faces each one with gusto. As a baby, there's the taste-everything phase-whether it is meant to be eaten-or not! And as a toddler, there's the question-everything phase. But all the while baby is growing up and becoming a curious kid whose exploration of the world leads to amazing places and discoveries. He's come so far and learned so much, and now everyone is so proud of him!

This celebration of curiosity and creativity, with its funny, joyful illustrations full of kid-friendly details, is a great gift for any major milestone.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Milgrim's (Best Baby Ever) breezy yet tender celebration of childhood achievements opens with a nod to its gift-book potential: a diploma proclaims, “You've made us all proud/ By who you've become,/ And we'd like to review/ How you did what you've done.” The focus on the hows rather than the whats of accomplishments broadens the book's relevance. While the lilting verse supplies general observations (“You wandered and wondered./ You loved to explore./ For every answer you got,/ you had three questions more”), buoyant, digital cartoons—supplemented by lighthearted speech balloons—furnish examples. Accompanying a shoutout for trying new things is a picture of the cheerful boy being served a squidlike creature as his mother insists, “It tastes like chicken!” In an endearing scenario, he goes fishing with his grandfather (“You had many teachers./ You learned from them well”), and when things aren't going so well, he takes out his aggressions on an inflatable toy. Amusing recurring graphics include frosted doughnuts—a favorite of the family dog—and a colander that serves as a helmet. It's an uplifting look at the dividends childhood curiosity can pay. Ages 1-up. (May)
Booklist
Milgrim's colorful and congratulatory title revels in the idea that play is a form of education.
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
In rhymed couplets, Milgrim traces the growth of the reader from babyhood on. "You loved to explore," he notes. You asked questions, "...prodded and poked." You made friends, tried new things, kept trying. You cried, got angry, learned to tell stories and make music. "When life gave you lemons, you made lemonade." Finally, saluting the reader he notes, "...you're so brilliantly smart...You did it your way...Three cheers for you..." The visual story is shaped with cartoon style characters in very simple contexts. Digital inks and digital oil pastels produce clarity of action in the vignettes and full-page scenes. Comic responses are stimulated by unexpected pictures, like that of the squid-like creature you are brave enough to try when told "It tastes like chicken." Or the four different instruments you use to "play your own music." Readers can improve their self-esteem as they smile. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
Gr 1 Up—This picture book's spirit is similar to that of Dr. Seuss's Oh, the Places You'll Go! (Random, 1990), but it celebrates growing up by looking back. "You've made us all proud/By who you've become./And we'd like to review/How you did what you've done." Readers are taken on a tour of the steps children take as they learn about themselves and the world around them by tasting, touching, falling down, and getting up. Comical cartoon illustrations bring humor to the enthusiastic text: "You knew how to listen when anyone spoke" shows a child engaged with a classroom speaker while everyone else, including the teacher, has fallen asleep. No one will see themselves in all of the pages, but some will ring true for everyone. An additional title that will be most successful as a gift book for kids passing important life milestones.—Julie Roach, Cambridge Public Library, MA
Kirkus Reviews
David Milgrim's rhyming take on the journey of growing up and acquiring knowledge begins with a baby chewing on a book and exploring what happens when his breakfast is tossed on the floor. The same baby, now a preschooler, plays with the pots and pans and asks questions like "why is it called a pair of underwear if there's only one?" Then the little guy becomes an older child who likes to look through telescopes and attempts to fly. Many of these images are essentially universal, but they all have funny and unique elements, like the above question about underwear or a funky invention involving watermelons and a skateboard. The simple, cartoonish illustrations also capture a familiar, humorous vibe. What isn't universal, however, is that this child seems to have a larger-than-average appetite for knowledge. He's shown making some complex inventions, playing several instruments and reading books on science and art history. This seems to be aimed at children who have actually earned the "smart" title. (Picture book. 3-6)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399252600
  • Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
  • Publication date: 4/29/2010
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 1 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.10 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

David Milgrim is the author and illustrator of numerous picture books, including Young MacDonald and Cows Can’t Fly. He lives in Wakefield, Rhode Island.
David Milgrim is the author and illustrator of numerous picture books, including Young MacDonald and Cows Can’t Fly. He lives in Wakefield, Rhode Island.

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