It’s a Book by Lane Smith
*Picture book for all ages
*Donkey and Monkey as main characters
*Rating: This book had me laughing out loud from the first page. I disagree with many adults who say it’s not for kids. I think kids will get it–especially older elementary who still love picture books. It’s a Book by Lane Smith is a hit!
Short, short summary: Monkey is reading a book–a real, live book–like one you check out from the library! Donkey can’t believe you don’t need to charge it or scroll down to read it. It has no social networking capabilities. You just open it and read it. Lane Smith has written a clever, clever book that speaks to what many people worry about will happen with the popularity of e-readers–we’ll forget what it’s like to hold a real book in our hands and enjoy it. (With young kids (preschool to first grade), you may have to explain some of the technology terms in the book to them.) WARNING: To all adults and parents: you should read this book from cover to cover to see if it is okay for you and your child or classroom. Instead of donkey, the word “jackass” is used. I don’t want to reveal how because it will ruin the great and funny surprise. I was laughing out loud. I would read this to my child, but I understand why some teachers may not be able to. I think it is a great play on words. So, just read it first.
So, what do I do with this book?
1. Compare and contrast (you can even use a Venn diagram) an e-book to a hardcover book. Once you have this comparison, discuss the advantages and disadvantages of both forms.
2. For older kids whom you want to read this to and have fun!, ask them to write a persuasive paragraph on which is better–an e-book or a hardcover/paperback book. You could actually do this with younger kids, too, as a shared writing experience.
3. The illustrations in this book tell a lot of the story, especially on the pages where Donkey is reading the book. Study these illustrations and talk about how they help tell the story. Then have students draw a picture that tells a story–they can use a few words, but not many.