03 September, 2010
Review: It's A Book by Lane Smith
Normally I show the front covers but in this case, I think the back cover is more appropriate.
You can't review a book like this. It's a small picture book so within a sentence or two I will have typed more text than the pages contain. Generally you would say what age it's good for, if it's clever or dull, how well juice spills wipe off the pages. Target market stuff.
But It's A Book is not really just a children's book. It's an anti e-book statement by a very popular children's author known for being sly. It's more of a cultural event than a children's book. After all, few children grabbing this in their sticky little palms will be unaware what a book is.
As a cultural statement it reminds me of the dude that wants you off his lawn. These kids today and their know nothing ways, their crazy Model-T Fords and their greaser hair. They'll never amount to anything. (Wow, did I just compare e-readers to the Greatest Generation? That's the problem with cultural screeds. They lend themselves to hyperbole.)
This IS a book. And it's an entertaining book if you hate e-reading. It's an entertaining book if you like watching children pretend to be scandalized. The annoying little ignoramus is full of the manic eager to please chatter of a certain kind of child. The besieged monkey is spot on with his fatigued contempt in his role as the elder child free relative. They are as Odd Couple as an Odd Couple ever was. (Lane Smith says he modeled the monkey a bit on Buster Keaton. I'm more of a Harold Lloyd kind of girl myself.)
It's A Book is most entertaining as a gift for the pearl clutchers you know. You see, that lovely little guy up there? He's a jackass. He's not a mule, a donkey, a small misshapen pony - he's a jackass. In a book. Children might read this book. Children might see the word jackass. They might see it used in ways with multiple meanings. JACKASS. (See? You can't stop.) There are people who are worried about this. I think it's the same people I see with their 3 year old in the R rated movie while my kids are safely at home reading It's A Book, but I might be judging.
I totally want to scan this, turn it into an iPad app and THEN give it to my e-reader hating family member. Hm. I wonder if I'm a mule.