Lane Smith is an American illustrator and children’s book creator. He is the author of the New York Times bestseller, It’s a Book, which has been translated into over twenty-five languages.
Lane Smith has received the Lifetime Achievement award from the Society of Illustrators and has been honored by the Eric Carle Museum for “lifelong innovation in the field of children's books.”
Lane Smith was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, but moved to California at a young age. He spent summers in Tulsa and cites experiences traveling there via Route 66 as inspirations for his work, which combines highbrow and lowbrow elements.
He studied at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, at the encouragement of his high-school art teacher, Dan Baughman, helping to pay for it by working as a janitor at Disneyland.
While still a student, he illustrated for alternative newspapers, L.A. Weekly, L.A. Reader, and the punk magazine No Mag. He also illustrated album covers for Oingo Boingo (Good For Your Soul) and the Dickies (Stukas Over Disneyland).
He graduated from Art Center in 1983 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in illustration. Then moved to New York City, where he illustrated for various publications, including TIME, Sports Illustrated, The New York Times, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, The Progressive, The Atlantic, The Boston Globe, Sesame Street Magazine, and others.
Lane Smith has written and illustrated many books like Grandpa Green, which was a 2012 Caldecott Honor book, and There Is a Tribe of Kids, which won the Kate Greenaway medal in 2017.
His titles with Jon Scieszka include the Caldecott Honor winner, The Stinky Cheese Man, and The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs. Both ranked among the 100 best all-time picture books by TIME magazine.
Lane’s books have been New York Times Best Illustrated Books on five occasions.
Smith is married to Molly Leach, who has designed many award-winning books, including almost all of Smith's.
Lane Smith and Molly Leach live in rural Connecticut.