The monkey is reading a book when the jackass (no, really!) comes up and starts asking endless questions about what the monkey’s doing and what the book can do. The jackass seems to only have experience with electronics and technology - will he understand what a book can do, and will he be interested enough to read one?
This book is a book. A book about how books are just… books. There’s no power button, no need to charge it up, nothing to press or swipe or tweet. The jackass seems clueless about books, but the monkey very patiently explains what a book is and how it can entertain you. This is a great lesson for kids - both for those who need to know what a book is and how to enjoy it, as well as a lesson in patience for all kids. The monkey shows them how they can be kind and patient and help those around them become interested in new and different things.
Be still my somewhat-anti-technology heart! I’ve gone from being something of a computer nerd to not really wanting to be on the computer at all. I held out on getting a smartphone until just over a year ago, and now I try to not be on it all the time. I wrote an article about keeping kids from technology when they’re really young, and am trying to keep it that way. I want my son to love physical books (and thankfully, at 8 months, he already does!) and use his hands and imagination to play with things, instead of sitting on his butt playing games on a screen. This book is so matter-of-fact, with the sly character of the jackass making me smile. It’s simple and silly enough to appeal to kids, and there’s a smirk shared with the parents reading it.
Reviews & Awards
Booklist says “Although it is adults, not children, who will best appreciate the subject and satire here, the basic drama created by the characters’ arguments may help this find an audience among kids, especially tech-savvy ones.” USA Today’s “Pop Candy” blog sums it up best, saying “Although it is adults, not children, who will best appreciate the subject and satire here, the basic drama created by the characters’ arguments may help this find an audience among kids, especially tech-savvy ones.”
Connections & Activities
You can’t go wrong with Lane Smith! He has been writing and illustrating books since 1987 on a variety of subjects - fiction and nonfiction both! Check them out on his webpage, or better yet - go find them on your local library’s shelf!
Read it for yourself!
Smith, Lane. 2010. It’s a Book. New York: Roaring Brook Press. ISBN 9781596436060