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It's a Book Hardcover – August 17, 2010


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It's a Book + It's a Little Book + Goodnight iPad: a Parody for the next generation
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 - 10 years
  • Grade Level: 1 - 5
  • Lexile Measure: 170L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Roaring Brook Press; First Edition edition (August 17, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596436069
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596436060
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 8.3 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (186 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,604 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Product Description
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.

A Look Inside It's a Book
(Click on Images to Enlarge)

How do you scroll down? Does it need a password?
Shh… I’m reading I’ll charge it up when I’m done

From School Library Journal

Gr 3-5–Smith jump-starts the action on the title page where readers meet the characters–a mouse, a jackass, and a monkey. The monkey's oval head creates an “o” in the word “book.” Slapstick humor ensues in an armchair face-off when one character, reared on a diet of Web 2.0 and gaming, cannot fathom what to do with a book and slings a barrage of annoying questions, “Can you blog with it? How do you scroll down? Can you make the characters fight?” Readers know who is speaking by each animal's unique font type and color, achieving economy and elegance on each page. Exasperated, Monkey hands over the volume. Life, death, and madness, all in a single illustrated page of Treasure Island, draw Jackass in. He responds with a knee-jerk reaction (“too many letters”) and hilariously reduces it to text speak, but his interest is piqued. He covets the book and readers watch him pore over it for hours. Repeated images of him transfixed, shifting left to right, up and down, ears upright, then splayed, and eyes wide open, fill a wordless spread and offer a priceless visual testimony to the focused interaction between readers' imaginations and a narrative. Mouse delivers the final punch line, which 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.Sara Lissa Paulson, American Sign Language and English Lower School PS 347, New York City
© Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

More About the Author

Lane Smith is the author and/or illustrator of several award-winning books for children. He is a two-time winner of the Caldecott Honor for Grandpa Green (2012) and The Stinky Cheese Man (1993). Four of his books have won the New York Times Best Illustrated Book Award and several of his books, including It's a Book, John, Paul George & Ben and Madam President have been New York Times and Publishers Weekly bestsellers. Mr. Smith has illustrated works by the likes of Bob Shea, Roald Dahl, Dr. Seuss, George Saunders, Judith Viorst, Florence Parry Heide, Jack Prelutsky and Eve Merriam. Some of his most popular books are with frequent collaborator, Jon Scieszka. Mr. Smith lives in Connecticut with his wife Molly Leach, an award-winning graphic designer.
www.lanesmithbooks.com

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Customer Reviews

This book is very funny and well developed.
Nino Leselidze
Plus I know that one of the words used is the name for an animal(another name for a donkey) but I really dont want my kids running around saying it.
James A. Nichols
I used this book as a read aloud in my high school reading classes.
Mollie Martin

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on May 12, 2011
Format: Hardcover
As a librarian and education student I can tell you that blogs are NOT just for adults. Have you been in schools recently? Even elementary schools have students creating and adding to blogs. They are simple and easy to make and run, hardly the sole realm of adults. Any child in elementary school - who does not have parents specifically keeping them away from technology (if you are doing this, you have no right to comment on here saying "My child doesn't know what any of that is!") knows exactly what is being talked about in this book and would find it funny.

I also find it sad that so many are complaining about the word "jackass". A jackass is a male donkey - it's an animal. Use your dictionaries. It is yet another word that will simply make children giggle, they don't have any negative connotations associated with it. To them it is just going to be the animal on the page.

I think this is a fabulous book completely appropriate for elementary school. So many children spend all their free time on computers, watching TV, listening to iPods and such that I've seen children come into the library and not even know there are different kinds of books. This one is a great introduction to books, and will certainly draw them in.
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30 of 37 people found the following review helpful By M. Tanenbaum VINE VOICE on August 11, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Lane Smith's wicked sense of humor comes through in this easy reader picture book aimed at elementary school-aged kids. This would be a great read-aloud for teachers at the beginning of school. On the title page, we meet mouse, jackass, and monkey, our characters. Monkey is reading a book, and Jackass bombards him with a series of annoying questions, such as "how do you scroll down," "do you blog with it," "where's the mouse," etc., to which Monkey keeps replying "it's a book." There's a very funny twist at the end, as Monkey lends his book to Jackass, and has to go to the library to find something else to read. A very funny gift for book lovers of all ages! Smith's very droll and simple illustrations are critical to the story, and the increasingly annoyed-looking expressions are Monkey are especially funny. This one's a keeper.
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77 of 101 people found the following review helpful By Kristen Stewart VINE VOICE on July 11, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
As a picture book for grown ups, It's a Book is clever and well illustrated, easily a 4/5. However, it is being marketed to children four to eight years old. As the mother of two children in that age range, and a former third grade teacher, I find that strange. The concept is great, but the execution is so-so. First off, children aren't as familiar with that technology (blogs are for grown ups.) As people who grew up with technology AND printed books all around them, they just aren't worried about the death of the publishing industry. So, much of it goes over their heads, and then it ends with the word jackass (which is going to offend a number of parents, keep it off library shelves, etc.) I can't imagine recommending this book to other families with little kids. However, I can think of lots of adults and snarky teenagers who would adore it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ann Derby on September 20, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Our school's librarian read this to our 4th grader. I think that was fine; eleven year olds can understand the computer words and get the joke of the last word without it effecting their daily vocabulary.

But it's not a picture book for kids who are still into picture books. It's not for any kid under about 10. The book ends: "It's a book, jackass."

As an adult I get a kick out of it, and it's nice for our kid to know that her librarian has a sense of humor and is human.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By B. Caruso VINE VOICE on November 20, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I've been a Lane Smith fan since I picked up the quirky The Happy Hocky Family at my bookstore job, nearly 20 years ago. I've since brought my husband and my son into the Lane Smith fan base.

"It's a Book" attempts to show a non-reader discovering the excitement of books. Unfortunately, "It's a Book" doesn't do that for it's own readers and instead tries to appeal too specifically to a few populations without a consistency to appeal to a broader audience. The text style/size, layout, and graphics would appeal to new readers or parents of young not-yet-readers. However, the dry humor of the story would appeal more to grownups, who also probably wouldn't take that much issue with the use of the word "jackass" on the very last page. And the story & graphics don't seem so appealing to the target ages, which might understand some of the dry humor (minus the jackass thing).

We have plenty of books in our collection that appeal to a broad range of interests, ages, comprehension, etc... that are a joy to read and can be understood at different levels, whereas It's a Book is attempting to appeal to too many types of readers and unfortunately, for this reader, it falls rather flat.

"It's a Book" has a "sibling". There's a board book called "It's a Little Book" and the reviews are much more glowing and the language more appropriate.
You might want to check that out.
...Read more ›
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