Lane Smith and Molly Leach are a bookmaking couple from Connecticut. Lane writes and illustrates books, and his wife Molly designs them at Roaring Book Press. Together, Lane and Molly are responsible for such books as Caldecott Honors The Stinky Cheese Man (written by John Scieska) and Grandpa Green, as well as a host of other picture books, including The True Story of the Three Little Pigs and, my personal favorite Lane and Molly creation, It’s a Book.
It’s a Book is one of those wonderful children’s books that can be appreciated by readers of all ages. In the story, a monkey is reading a book. A jackass (literally) tries to figure out just what a book can do, as compared to his electronic device. The monkey steadfastly enjoys his book, much to the confusion of the jackass… at least, until he tries reading himself.
The text is short and hilarious. Each character’s lines are written in a different color text to remove the need for “he said/she said” dialogue tags and complement the back and forth style of the conversation. The illustrations are full of puns and wonderful facial expressions that make picture book interpreters laugh out loud. It’s a Book is a perfect example of Lane’s text and illustrations melding with Molly’s book design to create a children’s book worth reading and re-reading, as many times as a small child could possibly want.
Lane and Molly gave a video interview to Barnes and Noble. You can view it here.