By Merrie Leininger, McClatchy-Tribune
“It’s a Book”
By Lane Smith
$12.99, Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group
Ages 6 and up
A monkey, a mouse and a jackass are the only characters in the simple — and simply brilliant— children’s book, “It’s a Book,” by Lane Smith, the illustrator of “The Stinky Cheese Man” and “The True Story of the Three Little Pigs.”
The story praises the virtues of a good book through humor — the jackass continuously barrages the monkey with questions about such as:
“Can it text?”
With a slightly naughty one-liner of an ending, some parents might not be thrilled with their kids reading this book. The author said that the word ‘jackass’ isn’t unique to “It’s a Book;” in children’s literature, you will find it in “Shrek,” and “Aesop’s Fables.”
“I will say on a general note that grown-ups are always underestimating kids. They think lots of things are too scary for them. Grown-ups hated ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ when it was first published,” Smith said.
But, adults who think their kids can handle the language with a wink and a smile will love reading this book aloud to their kids and having a great old belly laugh right along with them.