Sunday, August 14, 2011

It's a (different) Book

Remember last year's It's a Book? The ever-clever Lane Smith's send-up of our obsession with technology features a frustrated monkey trying to make a donkey understand that no, you don't need a password, and no, you don't need to scroll down, because it's a book, jackass. It's more overt in its back-to-basics message than, say, Press Here, and it's funny. Every adult I've talked to thinks so. I've never actually seen a child's response to it, and indeed, our store displayed it much more prominently in adult-land than in the kids' section. I don't think that's just because of the "jackass" punchline, either. Two- and three-year-olds today have varying awareness of computers, but the concept that passwords and scroll bars are obliterating a simpler time is a pretty adult one.

Well, this week, the board book version arrived, complete with diapered baby animals. It's a Little Book replaces the donkey's technobabble with questions like, "Is it for wearing?" and "Is it for chewing?" I doubt this one will get as much notice from adult readers, but I think it succeeds better as a children's book. It's easy to imagine toddlers answering each question with a giggling "noooooooo." In this case, they're in on the joke.

The ending? "It's a book, silly."

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