Oct 06

Book Review: It’s a Book by Lane Smith

It's a Book by Lane SmithSummary (Walker Books)

CAN IT TEXT? BLOG? SCROLL? WI-FI? TWEET? No. . . It’s a book.

No matter how many electronic devices are available these days, you can’t deny the simple appeal of a good book. Monkey is reading a book, but his friend wants to know what the book can do. Does it have a mouse like his computer? Can you make the characters fight? And does it make loud noises? No, it’s a book.

Monkey’s friend discovers that a good book doesn’t need fancy electronic accessories.


I love, love, love this book and not just because it is a rather witty dig at e-books or because of the awesome final line. The illustrations are also warmly appealing with a quirky simplicity that I really like, giving Monkey, Jackass and Mouse a surprising amount of personality given the sparseness of the text.

I’m a fan of e-books, particularly for accessing non-fiction, reference and pulp fiction books, but I can’t come to terms with children’s picture books being available in e-book format. There is something so incredibly appealing and personal about holding a picture book and exploring it at your own pace and in your own way that I think is lost in the electronic form. Maybe this explains my particular fondness for this story.

All three of my children have enjoyed reading It’s a Book, each getting something different from it. We have all enjoyed the humour, with my older son particularly enjoying the text-speak translation of the pirate story.

I like that It’s a Book celebrates books without necessarily criticising technology. It simply highlights the ways that the experience of reading a print book differs from the experience of interacting with screens and technology.

This is definitely a picture book the whole family can enjoy. Encourage your school librarian to order a copy and make sure you have one on your bookshelf at home.

Review Copy Details
Title: It’s a Book
Author/Illustrator: Lane Smith
Publisher: Walker Books Australia, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-921720-14-7
Genre: Picture Book

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1 comment

  1. Kimberly

    Very clever. Lovely idea.

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