Lane Smith has written and illustrated a bunch of stuff, including Grandpa Green which was a 2012 Caldecott Honor book and It’s a Book which was on the New York Times bestseller list for over six months and has been translated into over twenty languages. His other works include the national bestsellers Madam President and John, Paul, George & Ben as well as the early chapter book series Lulu written by Judith Viorst. His titles with Jon Scieszka have included the Caldecott Honor winner The Stinky Cheese Man; The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs; Math Curse; and Science Verse. Lane's other high profile titles include Hooray for Diffendoofer Day! by Dr. Seuss and Jack Prelutsky; The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip by George Saunders; Big Plans by Bob Shea; and James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl. In 1996 Lane served as Conceptual Designer on the Disney film version of James and the Giant Peach.
His books have appeared on the New York Times Best Illustrated Book of the Year list four times. Lane lives with book designer Molly Leach in rural Connecticut.
On his books being perceived as controversial:
I guess I don’t make books for everyone’s taste. My very first book Halloween ABC was on some banned-book lists. I’m still not sure why. Perhaps because Halloween is perceived as supernatural. When I did The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs folks didn’t like that Jon Scieszka and I had the wolf eat the pigs (as he did in the original tale). In John, Paul, George & Ben there were those who thought it was sacrilege to portray founding fathers like Ben Franklin as mischievous boys. Are you kidding? Have they read Poor Richard’s Almanac? I illustrated an edition of Roald Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach while I was the conceptual designer of the movie. That book is always being banned somewhere . . .