It's A Book

Hardcover | August 10, 2010

byLane SmithIllustratorLane Smith

not yet rated|write a review

Playful and lighthearted with a subversive twist that is signature Lane Smith, IT'S A BOOK is a delightful manifesto on behalf of print in the digital age. This satisfying, perfectly executed picture book has something to say to readers of all stripes and all ages.

Pricing and Purchase Info


In stock online
Ships free on orders over $25
Prices may vary. why?
Please call ahead to confirm inventory.

From the Publisher

Playful and lighthearted with a subversive twist that is signature Lane Smith, IT'S A BOOK is a delightful manifesto on behalf of print in the digital age. This satisfying, perfectly executed picture book has something to say to readers of all stripes and all ages.

Lane Smith has written and illustrated a bunch of stuff, including It's a Book; John, Paul, George & Ben and Madam President. His titles with Jon Scieszka have included the Caldecott Honor-winner The Stinky Cheese Man; The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs; Math Curse; and Science Verse. Lane's other high profile titles include Hooray f...

other books by Lane Smith

Grandpa Green
Grandpa Green

Hardcover|Aug 30 2011

$15.26 online$18.99list price(save 19%)
It's a Little Book
It's a Little Book

Board Book|Aug 30 2011

$8.56 online$8.99list price
Madam President
Madam President

Hardcover|Jul 29 2008

$17.11 online$17.99list price
see all books by Lane Smith
Format:HardcoverDimensions:32 pages, 10.26 × 8.09 × 0.32 inPublished:August 10, 2010Publisher:Roaring Brook PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1596436069

ISBN - 13:9781596436060

Appropriate for ages: 3 - 5

Customer Reviews of It's A Book


Rated 5 out of 5 by from Likely not intended for kids While Lane Smith has written many fine books for kids in the past, I don't think this one is for them. Let's ignore the appropriately described jackass and look at the social commentary. The 'tweet corrected' version of the citation from Treasure Island should be a big give away (will 4 year olds get that?). I love this book and its great commentary on our tech-speak driven so-called culture, but it's not one for the kids.
Date published: 2011-06-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Getting Books Back I bought this for a child of 7 years old and I stand by the decision. Yes, it's controversial in the sense that it says jackass in it. But I wouldn't doubt that most children by the time they are 4 years old have heard their parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents, TV Shows and other sources of vocabulary say much worse on occasion. I thought the prose was excellent to get children of this day and age to understand the differences between books and digital technology. It gets the point across - Books are not computers - and I felt it delivered the message brilliantly to children.
Date published: 2011-02-28
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Not what I expected I purchased this book for a library and while the story was a good one, there really wasn't much need for the word "Jackass" other than to give the adults a chuckle. I ordered the book on the age recommendation given by Chapters as "Preschooler 3-5 years". I feel the book is more a tongue in cheek children's book that is really more suited to teens/adults. Although these kinds of books are somewhat cute, they aren't really kids books in my opinion. At least, not the kind I'll be reading to my own children.
Date published: 2011-02-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic Book I thought it was great - and the fact that the word "jackass" is in it isn't a huge problem for me. I just used it as a teachable moment. All Chapters picture books these days say "3-5". Many are actually more suitable for kids 5 and up. It seems to be a trend because so many parents push their kids into chapter books earlier and earlier (early chapter books often have poorer vocabulary and introduce fewer abstract concepts than picture books). Truly great picture books can be wonderful for all ages - 3 year olds to 90 year olds. Good readers are those who can make choices, not those who read chapter books exclusively by age 5. Something Chapters needs to promote!
Date published: 2011-01-04
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Not in this house I had ordered this book when I saw a couple of great reviews and the cover looked so cute. I returned it to my closest Chapters/ indigo store and the clerk knew exactly what I was returning it for when I said I wasn't comfortable with the language for my 4 year old. It would not be taken well if he went around saying Jackass to people.
Date published: 2010-10-27
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Cute book but parental discretion is advised I'm not sure what to think of this book. It's got great reviews from publishers and it's a Heather's Kids Pick and it definitely shows how books are still relevant in the technological age... but I have a problem with the use of the word 'jackass'. I'm not a prude or anything but in a children's picture book that is read to 3-5 year olds, do you really want to explain the word 'jackass'? Obviously the character is named Jackass and he is one (a donkey, mule, take your pick) but the fact that the author is using the word Jackass to mean a stupid person(and from the context of the story, he is), I'm not sure parents want their kids to know that word or think it's okay to use that word when they are that young. All that aside, it is quite a cute book and if you want to read it to your own kids, they would probably find it very funny but let me try reading it at Storytime and see how many complaints I get :)
Date published: 2010-09-16

Extra Content

Editorial Reviews

"I do love this book." -The New Yorker magazine's, Book Bench blog"Those of us for whom books are a faith in themselves -- who find the notion that pixels, however ordered, could be any kind of substitute for the experience of reading in a chair with the strange thing spread open on our lap -- will love this book. Though it will surely draw a laugh from kids, it will give even more pleasure to parents who have been trying to make loudly the point that Smith's book makes softly: that the virtues of a book are independent of any bells, whistles or animation it might be made to contain. . . . For in trying to make the case for books to our kids, exactly the case we want to make is not that they can compete with the virtues of computer or screens, but that they do something else: that they allow for a soulfulness the screens, with their jumpy impersonality, cannot duplicate . . . The moral of Smith's book is the right one: not that screens are bad and books are good, but that what books do depends on the totality of what they are -- their turning pages, their sturdy self-sufficiency, above all the way they invite a child to withdraw from this world into a world alongside ours in an activity at once mentally strenuous and physically still." -Adam Gopnick, in The New York Times Book Review"This tongue-in-cheek picture book about reading in the digital age features the best last line ever written in the history of children's literature. Savor it in print rather than trying to read it on your Nook, Kindle or iPad --the punchline will be much better that way." -USA Today's "Pop Candy" blog"Stylishly designed." -The Wall Street Journal, in its Summer Big Books Preview"In the age of e-readers, Smith offers a wry tribute to the printed word through a conversation about a book. As a gorilla sits reading quietly, a technophilic donkey pesters him about the source of his absorption: "Can it text? Tweet? Wi-Fi?" He may be a complete ass, but the donkey finally comes to understand the value of a good book -- least of all, no batteries required!""Donkey's gradual capitulation to the power of a real book is marked by both the hands of the clock (in a droll double-page time-lapse sequence) and the angles of his ears. But it's a mouse's final insouciant line that garners the biggest laugh." -The Washington Post"Welcome to a stunning picture-book entry in the print versus e-books debate. . . One of this year's best last lines will not be spoiled here." -The Chicago Tribune"This is a picture book that captures a defining moment in--dare I say it? --civilization as we know it." -The Miami Herald"Lane Smith brilliantly captures the fears of today's book lovers over e-readers in a children's book -- and does so with great humor." -The New York Post"Dry humor permeates the visual exchanges. With a cheeky punch line (kids, do not try it at home), Smith uses irreverence to express reverence for the book." -The San Francisco Chronicle"Personally, we laughed our a$$ off--and we know a few kids who will, too." -Time Out New York Kids"If you're a picture book connoisseur, chances are you're already familiar with Lane Smith. . . . Smith's latest picture book is called IT'S A BOOK. . . It's a very cute book, short and sweet. The illustrations are charming--particularly the monkey's expressions--and your kids will love the silly questions the donkey asks about the monkey's book." -Wired magazine's "Geek Dad" blog"Young readers, who are, after all, digital natives, will get a real kick out of Smith's book, as will their increasingly technology-obsessed parents." -Scripps Howard News Service"In our increasingly electronic world, it's easy to forget the sweet simplicity of a book. In Lane Smith's delightful It's a Book, the high-tech generation, especially youngsters, can rediscover the fun there is to be had between two covers. The playful read is something you and your grandchildren can enjoy together, time and again." -The Bellingham Herald"Adults who think their kids can handle the language with a wink and a smile will love reading this book aloud to their kids and having a great old belly laugh right along with them." -McClatchy-Tribune newswire"Smith addresses e-literacy in his irreverent style. . . . Meanwhile, Smith has the best of both worlds: his stylish drawings, sleek typography, and kid-friendly humor combine old media and new." -Publishers Weekly, STARRED"The final punch line . . . will lead to a fit of naughty but well-deserved laughter, and shouts of 'Encore.' A clever choice for readers, young and old, who love a good joke and admire the picture book's ability to embody in 32 stills the action of the cinema." -School Library Journal, STARRED"This is an exceptional picture book by an A-list award-winning, best-selling author/illustrator; a book that is promoting literacy and poking fun at those people who are forever glued to their computer screens. I'm quite curious to see how this one will play out. Especially when IT'S A BOOK starts showing up on a bunch of Best of the Year lists. Including mine." -Richie's Picks"Wickedly funny." -The Horn Book"Smith throws down his gauntlet in the ongoing debate over digital versus print." -Booklist"Universally comical . . . the refrain and pacing hit the sweet spot for preschoolers, while a Treasure Island passage reduced to AIM-speak will have middle schoolers and adults in stitches." -Kirkus Reviews"A must-read for every publisher concerned about the impact of electronic publishing issues and every child who wants to enjoy more of their childhood and Lane Smith's arch style. A devilish ending may scare a few... if it's you? Lighten up." -Publishers Weekly, named a "Staff Pick" by PW publisher George Slowik, Jr."I just received my finished copy of IT'S A BOOK, and I am simply mad for it. I want to give it to every i-Pad/Kindle-loving friend, to every skeptic who doubts the endurance of book culture in the 21st century, and certainly to children who must, must, must be shown the enchantments of holding a real book in their tiny hands. I hope IT'S A BOOK is a huge, huge success, and not just as a children's book." -Irma Wolfson, Book Buyer, Fontainebleau Hotel"A spirited parable that should be required reading for every youngster likely to find piles of shiny new gadgets under the tree this year." -The New Yorker magazine's "Book Bench" blog, in its piece "Holiday Gift Guide for the Precocious Child"