Reading Rockets recommends the following books by Lane Smith.
A Perfect Day
The day was perfect for cat, dog, bird, and squirrel who wanted nothing more than the warm sun, cool water, seeds, and corn. Each enjoyed their perfection until a large carnivore arrived on the scene! Textured illustrations with a lighthearted text effectively tell the story of a perfect day — at least for one large mammal!
Abe Lincoln's Dream
When Quincy leaves her tour of the White House, she sees a tall man standing over the Gettysburg Address. Quincy shares jokes with the ghost and helps him realize that the states are indeed united. The tall, pale ghost of Abe Lincoln can now rest easy.
John, Paul, George and Ben
Fact and fiction, old and new styles of illustration, wit and seriousness combine in this pithy, lighthearted look at four luminaries in American history. Only mature readers will appreciate the title's name play but are sure to chuckle at the take on John Hancock, Paul Revere, George Washington and Ben Franklin. Fact is clearly differentiated from fun at book's end.
The Happy Hocky Family
Humdrum family activities turn into stand-up comedy in text and illustrations with the understated lines in this parody of the old "Dick & Jane" readers. Newly independent readers will appreciate the short sentences presented in short stories, illustrated to look like books from the 1950s; sophisticated readers will appreciate the spoof.
There Is a Tribe of Kids
A colony of penguins, a pod of whales, a formation of rocks, and other groups of animate and inanimate things bring a lonely child to his own group. The joyful reunion creates a family. Stylized illustrations are rich with humor and liveliness, deserving of many readings.
Books illustrated by Lane Smith
Baloney (Henry P.)
Human kids will understand where little green, freckle-faced Henry P. Baloney is coming from. He's late again, and is sure to serve detention forever if he can't come up with a good excuse for his teacher as to why he's late again. Words Henry uses sound truly alien, but there's enough context to figure out their meaning — and a funny surprise waiting at book's end.
Edward, a giraffe, is ashamed of his long neck until he meets Cyrus, a tortoise who laments he has no neck. This hilarious tale of animals unhappy with their features (and very relatable!) is cleverly told through formal language coupled with well-placed, textured illustrations.
Hooray for Diffendoofer Day!
Rough sketches and ideas by the original Dr. Seuss were completed after his death by a jubilant collaboration between poet Jack Prelutsky and illustrator Lane Smith. Not only will readers glimpse Theodor Geisel's process of creation, they will delight in meeting Miss Bonkers and the Diffendoofer School presented in Seussian text and illustrations that integrate Smith's signature style with familiar Geisel.
Knights of the Kitchen Table
As a gift from his magician uncle, Joe receives The Book setting into motion a series of humorous time travel adventures. Joe and his friends, Fred and Sam, travel to King Arthur's England where they meet dragons, knights, and more in this first Time Warp Trio trip. Smith's black/white illustrations punctuate the action in this fast-paced tale.
The narrator's curse begins when she is told by her math teacher that math is all around. And so it is — including every part of this very funny book as it examines math and its functions. Text and illustration are seamlessly one allowing the book to be appreciated on several levels.
A dour little penguin has problems. He doesn’t like snow (it’s too bright). He can’t fly. And he’s hungry. A wise walrus reminds him of the beauty all around … but does this appease the penguin? Understated humor in simple, textured illustrations and the penguin’s narration create a sophisticated and very funny book.
Princess Hyacinth: The Surprising Tale of a Girl Who Floated
Princess Hyacinth has a truly unique problem. If she doesn't wear additional weights, she'll float off to who knows where! One day, the princess, however, takes off — literally — on her own but is rescued in an innovative way. Comic illustrations combine with an understated text for a very funny and very satisfying resolution.
This boy's curse begins when his teacher suggests that the "poetry of science" can be heard everywhere. From Moore to Frost, familiar poems are parodied and turned into science verse. Again art and illustration are inseparable as are the laughs in this offbeat look at science.
Squids Will Be Squids
Scieszka and Smith set sights on creating fresh fables — short traditional tales intended to teach a moral lesson. With humorous twists and take-offs, new, different and wacky fables are presented for readers' edification and amusement.
The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales
The incomparable author and illustrator team retells traditional tales such as the "Gingerbread Man" and the "Little Red Hen" in inventive and hilarious ways, sure to make readers familiar with the originals laugh out loud. Even the traditional format of the book is changed to suit the absurdity of the new versions, for a memorable reading experience.
The True Story of the Three Little Pigs
The "real" story started when Alexander Wolf sneezed when he tried to borrow a cup of sugar from his neighbor in the straw house.
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