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It's a Book

(It's a Book)

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  10,032 ratings  ·  1,733 reviews
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.

This title has Common Core connections.
Hardcover, First Edition, 32 pages
Published August 10th 2010 by Roaring Brook Press (first published 2010)
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Average rating 4.23  · 
Rating details
 ·  10,032 ratings  ·  1,733 reviews

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yeah, i said it, what??

this is a wonderful book, perfect for those of us who are confounded by the rise of the e-readers. did no one ever see maximum overdrive??

seriously, a book will never turn on you the way a machine will.

tom fuller read this book aloud to me the other day at work. he and i are on the same page as far as technology, and it was nice to have storytime again, and even nicer to have the theme of storytime be that the simplicity of a book, although it cannot tweet or blog or s
Sep 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Dear Amazon Kindle,

Do you know what else is portable? Do you know what else allows me to read anywhere at any given time? Do you know what else I can read on a beach or in any light? Do you know what else has crisp black and white contrast for easy reading? Do you know what else I can fit in my purse? Do you? Do you?

A book.

I'm not a technology curmudgeon (although my use of the word "curmudgeon" alone probably indicates that I'm well on my doddering way into geriatric-ville). There have been man
May 30, 2010 rated it it was ok
Where to begin? Begin at the beguine, I suppose. I’ve had It’s a Book sitting on my shelf for months and now the time is ripe. As you may have heard one place or another, it contains an off-color word at the end (“jackass”, belated spoiler alert) and it makes fun of folks who prefer online zips and whizbangs to good old-fashioned paper books. So what are we to make of it? Well, I hate to lob this designation on any author or illustrator I like, but this is so clearly a picture book for grown-ups ...more

Not a laptop, not a blog, just a book.”

After hearing so many awesome reviews about this book and after reading so many children’s books illustrated by Lane Smith, I just had to check out this book, “It’s a Book” and man, was it one children’s book that I thoroughly enjoyed!

The book starts off with a monkey reading a book when suddenly; a donkey comes by and asks the monkey what he has in his hands. The monkey tells the donkey that he is reading a book. But the donkey mistakes the book for
Feb 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is very cute. I was in a meeting before with a friend about a never ending ethics application we are working on and she handed me this and told me to read it as it would cheer me up. It did.

I particularly like the mouse.
B Schrodinger
May 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
My best friends Wayne and Jess gave me this for my birthday last year. They said they saw it and automatically thought of me. I guess not because I represent one of the characters in the book (at least I think I don't), but because I have debated the use of ebooks with them.

This is a wonderfully funny children's book that's probably more for adults. The premise is simple, the monkey is reading a book and the donkey is so Gen Y and has never seen a book. He asks silly questions like "Where does
Lisa  (not getting friends updates) Vegan
Oh dear; I feel sacrilegious.

Well, I thought I’d love this, but it was just okay. Books! Books and animals!; this book should be exactly my cup of tea. Much to my surprise, I was disappointed in this book.

But, while I liked that the allure of books is shown and the last line is mildly amusing and books compared with computers is an interesting concept, most of this book was sort of blah for me.

I wasn’t enamored of the pictures and there is not much of a story, rather just a monkey telling a jack
Eva Marie
Jan 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-with-julia
Okay, okay, I have to stop laughing. Holy cow. These are readers leaving these reviews on here! Upset about the word "jackass". (Okay, I'm fighting the urge here to piss people off even more so please, know that I may not be able to keep fighting it and read at your own risk.)
Okay, guys and gals. IT'S A WORD. Much like all the other words out there in our wonderful, word filled world.
Funny little story here - there's a woman on facebook that hates me because of my "foul mouth". What's even mor
Aug 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing

Because it's a book!

Straight to the point, there is a Jackass and a monkey, one raised in our modern technological times with no concept of what a book is.

This is one of those hilarious children's books you pick up because you're waiting at the book store and are a little bit bored, when before you know it you've read the entire thing and are snorting to yourself like a lunatic. An overgrown one who clearly doesn't belong in the children's section but this is one of those ones that you're neve
Sep 28, 2010 rated it it was ok
This is for librarians who hate computers, not for kids. Sure I hate facebook and I like swearing jokes, but I am not sure I like swearing jokes in the library where the parents are, this thing is doing nothing but sitting on the shelf making me paranoid ever since it came.
The Library Lady
I have no personal problem with the word "jackass", but why here? Is it for shock value for the "clean book" crowd?

No matter his reasons, in doing so Lane Smith has doomed this book. But that's not necessarily a bad thing, because the whole concept here is aimed far more at tweens than tiny tots anyway. Unfortunately most tweens don't head for the picture book section, ,the tiny tots' mommies will recoil at the "bad" word (which THEIR kids won't get)and the same crowd that reeled at the use of w
L. McCoy
Dec 28, 2017 rated it liked it
Well, this is a fun book with a theme everybody on Goodreads is a fan of... books!

What’s it about?
A giant monkey tries to explain books to a donkey.

The story is funny and is probably a good way to introduce kids to books especially in today’s technology filled world.
The art is kinda funny.
This entire book is very humorous. I especially love the pun at the end!

It gets repetitive. “Does it (blank)? No, it’s a book.” over and over again does get old.
There’s not much to the characters.
Oct 15, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Smith's newest is witty and sly, with a double entendre at the end that may cause some librarians to omit it from their collections. I, however, love this book. I have shared it with my middle schoolers, and they love it. I usually introduce it with a reminder that word meanings sometimes change over time (an idea we cover in several different units each year), ask for some examples from students, and immediately read the title page where the animals are named: "It's a mouse. It's a jackass. It' ...more
Kelly H. (Maybedog)
Apr 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: how-picture-book
Excellent message about how great reading is with no bells and whistles needed. But instead of being preachy, it's a funny tale of a donkey irritating a monkey who's trying to read. The illustrations are simple and cute. (I think simple can be fabulous such as in Press Here by Herve Tullet. I'd insert a link but my phone app doesn't support that feature.)

The only thing I didn't really like is that at one point the monkey calls the donkey a jackass. While it fits, it's also a "potty word" for mos
Jul 13, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
This is signature Lane Smith in every possible way. A donkey and a gorilla sit in a living room together. The donkey has a laptop, the gorilla has a book. The donkey is puzzled by this book. How do you scroll? Does it blog? Where is the mouse? The gorilla answers again and again, “No, it’s a book.” Finally, the donkey gets the book in his hands and refuses to give it back. The gorilla stands up to leave, heading for the library when the donkey offers to charge it when he’s done. All leading up t ...more
It is Banned Books Week, and I am reading Challenged/Banned books. This is the third book for this week.

This book was banned in several libraries in the US due to the last page where the monkey calls the donkey a jackass. Yep, ladies and gentlemen, for that one word.

I just had to read this book, it was really just banned for one word? Plus I was also interested in the whole non-print vs print debate, I wondered how it would be done. Would our technical-savy donkey be interested in print? Would
*The Angry Reader*
Jan 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: school, 2017
Read for class. LOVED IT! Funny and a little naughty.
Blake Bramley
Oct 01, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: picture-books
I’m not sure if I’ve ever given a 1 star review before but I honestly despise this book.

I think it’s important to still review and discuss books I dislike so here goes:

The premise has potential... the idea is that the Jackass has become so used to technology and hasn’t encountered a book before. They are confused and at first suspicious, but eventually get enthralled by the story.

However, it is handled, in my opinion, particularly badly. Monkey does not encourage Jackass to read, they are rather
Dec 08, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: picture-books
I picked this up to add to by substitute teaching bag of tricks. I loved the concept, an ode to books. Different animals ask if the book can perform tech tricks like blogging, tweeting, and scrolling. Each question about what the object can do is met with the same reply, no it's a book. There is even a cute tribute to Treasure Island which after just having finished watching Black Sails, I absolutely loved. Everything is great until the last page when the donkey asks a question and is called a j ...more
Jul 21, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
Shelves: 2010, humor, childrens, library
This book is similar to the Elephant and Piggie series of books by Mo Willems, only much snarkier and will appeal to an older audience. The conversation between the Monkey and Jackass (I did explain that jackass meant the same as donkey to our girls) is simple, hilarious, and very appropriate in today's high-tech, gizmo-oriented society. I loved it and, really, so did our girls, even if they didn't get all of the tech references (at least not yet!) I read it again, I liked it so much!

Update: We
Dec 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a funny children’s book that depicts how children are so immersed in the world of technology that they don’t know what to do with a traditional book!
Aug 17, 2010 rated it it was ok
Is it wrong that I liked the book trailer for It's a Book (2010) by Lane Smith more than I enjoyed the actual book? If it is, I don't want to be right.

What happens when a monkey* sits down with his copy of Treasure Island and a donkey** sits down with his laptop? Well, let's just say the book might not do as much, but it sure has a lot of staying power.

It's a Book has a great message. In snappy text and fun illustrations, it shows all the fun a book can be. And yet . . .

There is something very m
Ellie Morland
Oct 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a brilliant book. There is a rising concern about the current younger generation and the obsession with technology so it is nice to see a book addressing this concern.
Jul 03, 2010 rated it liked it
I received this book as a first-reads giveaway, and I was very excited to read it. Now that I have, I don't agree with the other reviews I have read about it. (Probably because I do not have a fear of books being replaced by technology.)

It's a cute book, and I enjoy Lane Smith's illustrations, but I cannot imagine reading this to a group of children. I feel like it's really a picture book for adults. I think the humor of the contrast between books and technology would be lost on young children.
Jos M
Nov 18, 2019 rated it did not like it
Boo! Looks nice, but I don't super enjoy adults scolding children for navigating between digital and printed literacy. The ape is going off to the library to get another book -- great! As a public librarian, let me assure you I have spent many, many times more hours assisting people who have been forced out of public life because they lack basic digital literacy -- they can't navigate any governmental agencies in which they are due assistance, they can't access any governmental records, they can ...more
Best timely kids book EVER. And folks, a jackass is an animal. It's in the dictionary. If you're afraid to read that word to your kids, you're going to have a hell of a time in a few years. Of course it's intentional, and best to have that conversation sooner than later. ...more
Maxwell Rae
Dec 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
“It’s a book, Jackass!” Best literary line ever haha!
Dec 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
This book would be great to share with young children as it explores what a book is, how to use it and how it is different from technology. Some young children may not have had much experience with real books and may have some of Donkey's misconceptions about how to use it, such as scrolling instead of turning the page. However, I think the best part of this book is how even though Donkey clearly is unfamiliar with reading, he ends up loving the book and doesn't want to give it back! He even say ...more
Nadine Jones
Dec 30, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: children-s
Meh. If you like those memes making fun of "kids these days" glued to their electronic devices instead of paper books, then you might love this book.

That's pretty much all it has to offer, so I can't imagine it will appeal much to young children, who are too young to even be aware of the supposed conflict between electronic tablets and paper books.
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Chiave di Lettura: È un libro 1 2 Oct 27, 2020 04:11AM  
Love this picture book/ So True! 5 32 Jan 30, 2015 04:16PM  

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Smith was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, but moved to Corona, California at a young age. He spent summers in Tulsa, however, and cites experiences there as inspirations for his work, saying that "[o]nce you've seen a 100-foot cement buffalo on top of a donut-stand (sic) in the middle of nowhere, you're never the same."

He studied art in college at the encouragement of his high school art teacher, helping

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“It's a book, jackass.” 33 likes
“How do you scroll down?"
"I don't, I turn the page. It's a book."
"Do you blog with it?"
"No, it's a book.”
More quotes…