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It’s a Book

Posted on Apr 6, 2011

Lane Smith
(Macmillan Children’s Books)

A jackass (read donkey) and an ape (and a little mouse, hidden under his hat!) are sitting, reading. The ape has a book, the jackass a laptop. When the jackass enquires about the ape’s “gadget”, he is surprised to hear that it doesn’t have any gimmicks … just a good old-fashioned book, with pages to turn! So how can the ape be so engrossed in it, the jackass wonders? When he gives the book a try, he soon finds out what the fuss is all about!

It’s a Book focuses on the exchange between an IT-obsessed donkey a book-loving ape, with the donkey having difficulties coming to terms with the simplicity of the ape’s “toy” and his utter engrossment in it.
Despite quite sparse text, the message conveyed about books and the power of reading and stories in our multimedia-obsessed era is incredibly well delivered and speaks volume! The artwork is similarly minimalistic with a beautiful, soft, retro-looking palette of colours. The clever use of typography, with a font being used for the donkey and a different one used for the ape, helps enhance the differences between the two characters and the media they are championing.

This is a picture book which will delight adult readers and the final sentence and the underlying joke that runs throughout the book will  not be lost on them. But this is a tale for all and as our children become more attuned to new technologies, this book will remind them that fun, adventure, escapism and excitement can be found in other places too. Rather than compete against each other, both media, being so different, can work alongside each other quite nicely, so while we play with all the gadgets available to us, let’s not forget books! But I think it is fair to say that the author might be slightly biased towards books … and let’s be honest, so am I!

It’s a Book is a beautifully crafted modern tale, and is, without a doubt, one of my favourite books of the year so far.
And here is the wonderful book trailer, to give you a flavour of this great book:

Sent for review by publisher

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2 Comments

  1. I bought this book and the last page killed it for me… I could never circulate this one with the “It’s a book, Jackass”…. as much as I ADORE it, I can imagine a parent calling me immediately. But, I got to keep it! : )

  2. Hi Kelly, I can understand that would be an issue. We don’t really use “jackass” in the UK so I guess we are lucky. Such a great book though!

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