Author Profile: Lane Smith

Today, we are taking a deeper dive into the world of author and illustrator, Lane Smith. He has won the Caldecott Award for Grandpa Green and The Stinky Cheese Man. Several of his books have won the New York Times Best Illustrated Book Award.

You may know Mr. Lane from his frequent collaboration with Jon Scieszka. I am also proud to say he lives in my lovely state of Connecticut.

His picture book illustrations have a distinct style, ranging from cute to creepy to inspired. His illustrations are often rich, and reward the careful reader with creative details. Each time my kids and I re-read his illustrated books, we discover new details. He seems to be able to really capture the essence of the text he is illustrating, whether it be for Jon Scieszka’s twisted humor or Bob Shea’s purity of story. He also brings a combination of beautiful illustrations and simple text to the books he both authors and illustrates.

Our favorite Lane Smith books are:
Grandpa GreenScience VerseThe Stinky Cheese ManSquids Will Be SquidsThe True Story of the Three Little Pigs

Our family reads Mr. Smith’s books over and over, and we each have a favorite. My son loves the humor of Science Verse, and how it creatively describes science concepts. My daughter enjoys The Stinky Cheese Man (it cracks both my kids up every time), and I am drawn to the sweetness of Grandpa Green.

Some other books from this author that I have not yet read: The Big Elephant in the Room, Math Verse, Princess Hyacinth, and John, Paul, George, and Ben. We’ll be adding them to our library queue soon!

What is your favorite Lane Smith book? Please share in the comments!

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Review: The Book With No Pictures/ Max’s Review

The Book With No PicturesThe Book With No Pictures

Written by: B. J. Novak

Dial Books, 2014, Hardcover

Target Audience: Ages 4-8

Genre: Fiction

Theme: Reading out loud, humor, silliness

How We Discovered This Book: My daughter’s teacher read this book to her class, and she hasn’t stopped talking about it since.

Summary: From the beginning: “You might think a book with no pictures seems boring and serious. Except… here’s how books work.” The book continues with the reader having to read all kinds of silly things aloud.

What I Liked: It’s a creative approach, and the silliness makes it fun to read multiple times. And the children will want you to read it again. And again.

What Did My Daughter Think? This books makes my daughter laugh EVERY time. I think each time we read it she laughs harder, anticipating what is coming next. She’s even made up a tune to go with the words.

Resources:

Make your own book with no pictures. What are the funniest words you can think of to read aloud? (Thanks for ArtsyMomma for the idea)

Look for other books that are especially fun to read aloud. Try We Are in a Book by Mo Willems or  Press Here by Hervé Tullet.

Watch author B.J. Novak read the book aloud to a group of kids.

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Max is back with his review of The Book with No Pictures. Max would love to hear your suggestions on picture books he should review. Please share your suggestions in the comments!

Email subscribers: Please click over to this post on the website to see Max’s complete video.