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There is a Tribe of Kids by Lane Smith

Written by · Published Jul 20, 2017

There is a Tribe of Kids

There is a Tribe of Kids, by Lane Smith, won the prestigious CILIP Greenaway for an outstandingly illustrated book for children and young people. Stock librarian Sophie gives her verdict.

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“When a young boy embarks on a journey alone … he trails a colony of penguins, undulates in a smack of jellyfish, clasps hands with a constellation of stars, naps for a night in a bed of clams, and follows a trail of shells, home to his tribe of friends.”

There is definitely a tribal feel to this journey through collective nouns as we follow a child who is looking for the group where he belongs. The sponge-printed illustrations are lovely, flowing in patterns across the pages and giving this book a wild and natural feel. In an interesting reversal, the story is told completely in pictures and the few words describe the scenes.

Other titles written and illustrated by Lane Smith

Pinnochio, the Boy

“This is the story of Pinocchio after he has been turned into a boy by the Blue Fairy. The trouble is, she changes him while he is asleep and when he wakes up he thinks he is still a puppet. Lane Smith takes the much-loved story of Pinnochio a stage further, into the surreal.”

A Perfect Day

“A warm, funny picture book about a group of animals and their (not so) perfect day in the garden. Whether basking in the warmth of the sun, nibbling on a fresh yellow corn-on-the-cob, or cooling off in a clear pool of water, it is a truly beautiful afternoon for all - what could possibly go wrong?”

Grandpa Green

“Grandpa Green wasn’t always a gardener. He was a boy who lived on a farm and a child who had chickenpox. He was a soldier, a husband, and most of all, an artist. Follow his grandson through a garden where memories are handed down through the shapes of topiary trees and imagination recreates things forgotten.”

It’s a Book

“A wry exchange between an IT-savvy donkey, a book-loving ape and a mouse forms this playful and lighthearted examination of print as a medium in the digital age. With a subversive and signature Lane Smith twist, this picture book has something to say about the importance of reading to children and adults alike.”

The Stinky Cheese Man and other fairly stupid tales, by Jon Scieszka

“A look at some almost fairy tales, including ‘Chicken Licken’, ‘The Really Ugly Duckling’, and ‘Little Red Running Shorts’.”

Sophie Green

Sophie Green

I work for the Suffolk Libraries stock team. I also write children’s fiction, short stories and comedy. Visit my website.