Children aren't born knowing what books are. They have to explore pages on their own and figure out what these strange objects are used for. Can you wear it as a hat? Do you eat it? Is it a beak, like a bird, only you hold it in your hand? When you really think about, books can be pretty confusing things! But eventually, through modeling and exposure, even little ones can understand how to use and enjoy books.
This board book uses the same characters and structures as Lane Smith's earlier It's A Book, although in this version the Jackass isn't referred to by name. I was skeptical of this book when I saw it in stores, thinking it was just a chance to cash in on a board book format. When I read it, though, I enjoyed it in a different way than It's A Book. The humour seems gentler in this book, I think because the Jackass isn't presented as being so out of it. Yes, he doesn't know how to use a book, but he's a child in diapers - he hasn't learned yet. Without the digital storyline, the message becomes slightly less sharp. I still don't know if board book is the right format for it, because I think that it will be older children who enjoy it the most. I almost wish this was in a full picture book format (I don't think it is). But no matter. It's still a book that parents and adults will enjoy, a book that's given and read as a funny joke.
Find it on IndieBound.
Read it with:
A Book by Mordicai Gerstein
Have I Got a Book for You by Melanie Watt
It's A Book by Lane Smith
Read It, Don't Eat It! by Ian Schoenherr