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A.S. Roper
A.S. Roper, author

Children/Young Adult; Spirituality/Inspirational; (Market)

SMART KIDS ROCK Ages 4-7 is a juvenile children’s picture book appropriate for preschool and kindergarten age. This picture book has colorful pictures of black, white, and brown children smiling and enjoying school. This picture book is designed to get boys and girls excited about school. This book shows children that they all have superpowers that can make them a school Rock Star.
Roper’s simple but affirming and playful third picture book (after Smart Girls Rock and The Adventures of Smart Boys) encourages children to harness their inner superheroes for elementary school success. Showcasing boys and girls of varying skin tones, Roper stimulates kids’ curiosity by describing learning as a superpower. The clean digital clip art, paired with a white background and unobtrusive text, keeps the focus on each page’s featured character and their aptitude: “This smart girl likes to read Mystery. This smart boy likes to read History.”

The layout is plain, and some readers will crave more sophistication. Lacking an overarching narrative, Roper’s text becomes repetitive and tepid for older readers but will entertain children in pre-K and kindergarten. Roper touches on a variety of school topics (including science, art, reading, and math) and cleverly emphasizes the importance of positive social behaviors for children’s school success through several pages aimed at practicing good manners. Her premise that all youth are capable will gratify parents and teachers.

Roper’s condensed offering is well-intentioned and broadly appealing, though its minimalism makes it easy to overlook in a saturated market. Despite an absence of attention-grabbing illustrations and exciting narratives, its emphasis on sleeping to recharge “superpowers” and the reinforcement of educational values still make this picture book a sweet read. For both kids who naturally excel in school and those needing more time and assistance, Roper delivers a commanding sense of reassurance and inspiration with portraits of happy and energized children empowered by the achievement that comes from working hard at school.

Takeaway: Early elementary whiz kids and struggling students alike will benefit from this cheerful and affirming book about working hard in school.

Great for fans of Andrea Beaty’s Questioneers series, Adam Rex’s School’s First Day of School.

Production grades
Cover: B-
Design and typography: A-
Illustrations: B-
Editing: B
Marketing copy: