Review: It’s a Book by Lane Smith

I love books. No surprise there, given that I read almost constantly, blog about the things that I read, and talk about the various stories with anyone that will listen. So, a picture book about books? It sounded like just the thing for me. The end result, though, was more patronizing than I would’ve liked and anti-books-in-any-other-format-than-physical.


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Published: 10 August 2010

Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

Category: Childrens (Picture Books)/Humor/Books About Books

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.

Rating: 2.5 Stars

While I can appreciate that some people prefer physical books to other formats, like e-books or audiobooks, that doesn’t mean that it gives them the right to look down upon those that enjoy alternate formats. There was a tone to It’s a Book that made it feel like it was casting a side-eye at anyone, like Jackass, that might prefer to reader using electronic devices.

The humor level/the intended audience seems to be kind of blurry. The description indicates that it’s meant for 6-years-olds which…maybe? The illustrations were simple and attractive enough to be for the age group, but it felt more like the humor level was in line with a book Smith previously illustrated, The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales. It’s marketed for kids, but upon reading comes across more like for adults than their children. Another book like that would be Go the F*ck to Sleep by Adam Mansbach. Looks nice enough for kids but yeah, better not.

There may well be people (kids, adults, etc.) that like this book and don’t see these things, but considering the book was written in 2010, it doesn’t feel like the quasi-elitist attitude toward physical books should still be a thing.






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