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It's a Book Hardcover – August 17, 2010


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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 (179 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #49,943 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

Both children and adults will like this book.
Cheryl Koch
The pictures can hold her attention though, especially the little mouse hiding under the monkey's hat.
J. GARRATT
If there is one thing I do have an issue with is the term "jackass" used in the book.
jackie

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Bibliomnomnom 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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28 of 35 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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76 of 100 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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2 of 2 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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Tali on May 11, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It's simple, clever and witty. It's a great picture book for adults. Usage of the word "jackass" may prevent it from being appropriate for all ages.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Garden maven on February 22, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It is an absolutely adorable and clever book however it is not really one I would read to a pre-k child or even early elementary - like at first I thought it would be. But the idea of one of the characters being a jackass fits an older audience - at least in my opinion. I have great grandkids in that younger category who love to read and I just passed it on to one of my daughters who teaches mid-high and high school kids. They will appreciate the humor and the message in it and they will not be learning to use any NEW names to call each other either.

Oh yes - the vendor is just fine. everything arrived in good time and excellent condition etc.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sara K Flore on October 28, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Great book idea, but the use of "jackass" at the end of the story should categorize it as an adult book, not a children's book. I wish the author hadn't used the word because it would have been a great message for children in the 21th century digital age where most of us have forgotten about the importance of books. The local bookstore has this book in the HUMOR section, not in the adult section. This is probably where the book belongs instead of the children's department.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By S. Montgomery VINE VOICE on July 14, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
In the age of electronic media, it is easy to see the day when some of the questions in this book might really be pondered by a child....so what exactly does a book "do"? Much more than you'd think.
This isn't a book for a 4-8 year old, though, as the the description states. A child that age just won't have the frame of reference to appreciate it, nor will you appreciate the use of "jackass" to mean an idiot for a child that age.
Buy this for the dead-tree book lover in your life.
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