It's a Book

It's a Book
Lane Smith

Here is a story straightforward enough even the youngest reader can understand yet, amusing enough for parents to enjoy. Actually, all of Lane Smith books are that way. Some examples are The Stinky Cheese Man and The True Story of the Three Little Pigs. Both are to be enjoyed by children a little older than your average picturebook reader. In this particualr book Smith uses the word "jackass" gratuitously throughout its pages but being that it is a term used for a donkey, I guess I can respect the author’s choice of words in the name of Art and Literature.

At the very beginning of this book, we are introduced to the characters — a mouse, a monkey, and a jackass. The monkey is enjoying a good old fashioned book when a tech-savvy “Jackass” wonders what special capabilities it has. (“Does it Text?” “Does it tweet?” “Does it have a Password”) after the monkey has explained the concept of a book throughout the story, the book ends with the line, “It’s a book, jackass.”

This led me to ask, are books really that ancient? The NY Times seems to thinks so. They published in article entitled “Picture Books No Longer a Staple for Children”, citing reasons such as the economic downturn and parents pushing “Big Kids” books, still some say Children’s picturebooks are experiencing a Digital Revolution. So what is it? A bad economy, over-ambitious parents trying to prepare their five year olds for Harvard or the decision to abandon print books in favor of electronic ones?

I can picture my grandchildren trying to explain “Once upon a time there were books, but now….____”

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