Tuesday, June 1, 2010

It's a Book!

Guys, I am so mad that Lane Smith's next book, the aptly named It's a Book, doesn't come out until August 8th.

It's a BookI want it now!

You see, around week six of my class, I discuss children's literature and technology with my students.  I show them videos of how you can play with the illustrations with the iPad version of Alice in Wonderland.  And what does it do that a book is sold as an "app" instead of as a...book?  We discuss whether they like to read from a computer screen.  We discuss the unique smell that some physical books seem to have (and how, as a child, my dad would actually sniff inside a book to assess its quality and decide whether or not he would buy it for me.  Oh Dad, you are part of the reason why my students think I'm kinda weird.).

While my students usually humor me with a handful of answers about how they feel about the new technological trends over the two hour class, I absolutely would love to bother them with these discussions over several more classes.  (I mean, I barely touch on the ways that young readers can use technology to respond to books.)  I only briefly discuss how authors are more accessible to readers with blogs, vlogs, facebook and twitter.  I need more time!

But, I just saw the trailer for It's a Book.  And I think even though I still won't be able to devote a whole month to technology, I would be able to squeeze in a reading of this book in the class discussion and still not torture my students with over-talking about this aspect of children's literature. 
Billy Twitters and His Blue Whale Problem
It would seem Smith has taken a position in how he feels in the tech vs book debate (which by the way, I feel is a false dichotomy.  Just because I have a kindle, iPhone and iPad and I regularly download books doesn't mean I've stopped buying traditional books.  And I doubt I'm alone in this.).  But it would be a nice contrast to when I hold up Billy Twitters and His Blue Whale Problem, in which a boy named Billy Twitters is saddled with the gift of a blue whale that proves to be hard to care for.  I mention how if the reader has knowledge of Twitter, the seemingly unrelated story takes on a whole new significance.

So, since this book--oh so relevant to one of my favorite discussions--won't be available until August, my month off, meaning even though I plan to get this book as soon as it is available, I still won't be able to show it to students until sometime in October (oh, cruel, cruel world!) I'll just have to rely on showing tomorrow's class (and my summer course!) the trailer.  Because that's all I'll have.


  1. I can't wait to see this book. I'm even more interested now that I know about the brewing controversy. Check out this review by children's librarian Richie Partington.

    Apparently, the word jackass in the book may end up causing quite a stir. I'll be interested to see how this plays out, and if schools will place the book on their shelves.

  2. Oooh! I hadn't heard about this! Thanks for the tip.

    Yet another discussion to have about it. Mmm, book conversations.

  3. a) I love that your dad did that.

    b) I think the tech/lit discussion is fascinating. Your students are lucky.

    c) I'm now very curious about the twitter/blue whale book. I'll have to check it out.



Related Posts with Thumbnails