Author/Illustrator: Lane Smith
Genre: Children’s Picture Flat
First Published: 2011
Lane Smith’s beautifully simple children’s book captivates both the young and old, as well as reminding us of the joys of reading a printed book.
‘It’s a Book’ was shortlisted for the Waterstone’s Children’s Prize this year, and I was lucky enough to receive a copy to review. I really enjoyed reading ‘It’s a Book,’ which surprised me as I don’t usually read picture flats because I haven’t got children. However, since reading this one I have been encouraged to read the others that have been shortlisted for the Waterstone’s Children’s Prize as I was greatly surprised by how much they differed from my memories of childhood books.
Smith’s unique book tells the conversation between a monkey and a donkey about books. While the monkey appreciates the beauty of books, the donkey is much more distracted by the technology around him such as computers and video games. The donkey cannot comprehend the pleasure of reading a book that cannot tweet, text or TOOT! However, once he gives it a go, he thoroughly enjoys his reading experience.
I really loved the way in which ‘It’s a Book’ deals with the increasing popularity of technology and gadgets, (which, after volunteering with children as young as five, I know are becoming ever more popular Christmas presents!) So this book shows how up to date it is with the next generation of readers. I feel that the story does a great job of highlighting the importance of the continuation of the book because, (even though technical alternatives are available) we all know that nothing can replace an actual book, particularly children’s picture books like this one.
I am a great believer in the importance of encouraging children to read and I think that this book, with its somewhat naughty punch line, helps children from a very young age also become aware of the importance of reading. Not only is the story incredibly entertaining, but the artwork is wonderfully unique and captivating. I think that the characters are cute and lovable, which makes the book even more of a pleasure to read.
Favourite quote: “Do you blog with it?”
“No, it’s a book.”
If you enjoyed this please read my article on the London Olympics: http://bit.ly/IaTK1X