“It’s a Book”

Smith, Lane.  It’s a Book.  New York: Roaring Brook Press, 2010.  Print.

Read at the Waverly Public Library.

Read on February 7, 2013.

Five out of five stars.


If Lane Smith’s “It’s a Book” were to have a subtitle, it would be “A Print Book’s Manifesto”. The story depicts a conversation between a donkey* (with a computer) and a monkey (with a print book and a mouse sidekick). As children are wont to do, Donkey* pesters Monkey about the book’s capabilities (How do you scroll? Where is the mouse? Can it text? Tweet? Blog?), to which Monkey repeatedly replies, “It’s a book”. Eventually the enigmatic nature of Monkey’s print book entices Donkey* and he finds himself lost in its story, prompting Monkey to take a trip to the library.

Both tongue in cheek and wistfully nostalgic, “It’s a Book” is not anti-technology, but rather celebrates print and its unique ability to foster and stimulate the reader’s imagination. This book teaches a valuable lesson about the importance of books and reading to children, but is told cleverly enough to appeal to adults as well. A well timed one liner told by Mouse on the last page will surely elicit laughs (and gasps) perhaps even a hearty Amen!.

*Smith uses “Jackass” in place of donkey (appears twice), which may offend parents who are themselves being jackasses for making a fuss about a word.

PS, apologies for the lack in recent content.  I have quite a few books I’ve read and have yet to review, I’ve just been pretty busy (two jobs, a practicum, school, training, failing attempting to remain sane)…  I hope to finish and post them soon, but I thought this little gem might tide you over for a few more days.