© 2012 Lane Smith

It’s a Book is about a book loving monkey, a tech savvy jackass and a straight talking little mouse. You can read more about how this book came to be HERE on my blog.

And there’s a video HERE.

Over 6 months on the New York Times bestseller list

Translated into 20 languages

A Publishers Weekly bestseller

A Publishers Weekly Best Children’s Book 2010


The final punch line . . . will lead to a fit of naughty but well-deserved laughter, and shouts of ‘Encore.’ A clever choice for readers, young and old, who love a good joke and admire the picture book’s ability to embody in 32 stills the action of the cinema. 

School Library Journal


Smith has the best of both worlds: his stylish drawings, sleek typography, and kid-friendly humor combine old media and new.

Publishers Weekly

Those of us for whom books are a faith in themselves — who find the notion that pixels, however ordered, could be any kind of substitute for the experience of reading in a chair with the strange thing spread open on our lap — will love this book. Though it will surely draw a laugh from kids, it will give even more pleasure to parents who have been trying to make loudly the point that Smith’s book makes softly: that the virtues of a book are independent of any bells, whistles or animation it might be made to contain. That two-page spread of the jackass simply reading is the key moment in the story, and one of the nicest sequences in recent picture books.

The moral of Smith’s book is the right one: not that screens are bad and books are good, but that what books do depends on the totality of what they are — their turning pages, their sturdy self-­sufficiency, above all the way they invite a child to withdraw from this world into a world alongside ours in an activity at once mentally strenuous and physically still.

Adam Gopnik in the New York Times

Kids will enjoy feeling superior to the donkey, who's still ignorant enough to call out, "Don't worry, I'll charge it up when I'm done!" And older ones will relish the naughty punch line-Mouse pops out from under Monkey's hat to announce, "You don't have to. . . it's a book, Jackass" -which, really, is just calling it like it is.

The Horn Book

Stylishly designed.

The Wall Street Journal, Summer Big Books Preview

This tongue-in-cheek picture book about reading in the digital age features the best last line ever written in the history of children’s literature.

USA Today’s Pop Candy

The refrain and pacing hit the sweet spot for preschoolers, while a Treasure Island passage reduced to AIM-speak will have middle-schoolers and adults in stitches.

Kirkus Reviews

Donkey’s gradual capitulation to the power of a real book is marked both by the hands of the clock (in a droll double-page time lapse sequence) and the angles of his ears. But it’s the mouse’s final insouciant line that garners the biggest laugh.

The Washington Post

I do love this book.

The New Yorker, Book Bench section

A clever rebuttal to today’s Kindle-Nook-iPad culture, It’s a Book is the latest from bestselling, award-winning author-illustrator Lane Smith ...One language caveat: The book’s title page identifies the donkey with a very mild epithet, which is repeated in a gentle last-page smackdown: “It’s a book, jackass.” Personally, we laughed our a$$ off—and we know a few kids who will, too.

Time Out New York Kids

A must-read for every publisher concerned about the impact of electronic publishing issues and every child who wants to enjoy more of their childhood and Lane Smith’s arch style. A devilish ending may scare a few... if it’s you? Lighten up.

“Staff Pick” by Publishers Weekly publisher George Slowik, Jr.

Folks who liked Grandpa Green in 2011 . . .



A Publishers Weekly BEST CHILDREN’S BOOK

SILVER MEDAL Society of Illustrators


Kansas City Star TOP 100 BOOKS

A Barnes & Noble BEST BOOK


Seven Impossible Things TOP TEN

A Time Out New York Kids BEST BOOK



A rare glimpse into Smith’s softer side - as skillful as his more sly offerings, but crafted with honesty and heart.

Publishers Weekly


A clever premise, brilliant pacing, and whimsical illustrations offer a distinctive look at the life and artistic vision of one great-grandfather. 

School Library Journal

An unassuming little masterpiece...

Bruce Handy, New York Times Book Review

Lush and magical.

People Magazine

The perfect book to help kids understand old age.


Readers who slow down will be rewarded by this visual feast that grows richer with each visit.Though this book has lots of adult appeal, it will also be a wonderful bridge to exploring family history with the very young.

Kirkus Reviews

In what may well be his greatest achievement thus far, Caldecott Honor artist Lane Smith introduces Grandpa Green and the garden that tells his heart-tugging story.

Shelf Awareness

The pint-size companion to the best-selling It’s a Book, the board book version doesn’t merely shrink the proportions of the original; it also wisely contracts the whole wired world of its older brother into the smaller scope of a toddler’s landscape – in a good way.

The New York Times

Curious Pages


Abe’s Ichabod Crane–like angularity is set against an imaginative array of design elements, from the hand-lettered broadside printing of the nineteenth century to collages incorporating various patterns and effects—crackle, sponge-painting, spackle—that also lend an old-fashioned feel. However, Smith combines and juxtaposes these elements to create a look both bold and spectacular. Beyond its visual pleasures, the book effectively, and with a light touch, presents government as a work in progress rather than the done-deal children are usually taught; author’s notes (effectively pitched at a young audience) provide historical context.

The Horn Book




Quincy’s unexpectedly moving encounter presents American history not as a series of dry and inevitable events, but as Lincoln’s dream fulfilled.

Publishers Weekly



A fresh and intimate glimpse of the 16th president .… An adroit blend of humor, compassion and quiet optimism reflects the statesman’s character and make this a first choice for February or anytime. 




You can listen to an interview with me on All Things Considered HERE.