January 3, 2014

POSTED BY

Emma Brennan

CATEGORY

The Book With No Pictures

Is it possible for kids to love a book with no pictures? Images are supposed to work with the text and help children understand the plot, the characters, and the message. When I was just learning how to read, my teacher used to make us take a “picture walk”. We …

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Is it possible for kids to love a book with no pictures? Images are supposed to work with the text and help children understand the plot, the characters, and the message. When I was just learning how to read, my teacher used to make us take a “picture walk”. We would have to narrate each page of the book in our own words rather than using the text. Actor, Author, Stand-up Comedian, and Screenwriter, B.J. Novak has revolutionized the way we approach reading for kids in his new book, “The Book with No Pictures“.

The book comes by its title honestly; it’s filled with only words, in different fonts and colors and sizes. In a funny, smart, and creative way, the book forces the reader to say a slew of ridiculous words and is guaranteed to get a laugh out of any kid you know.


A live reading of “The Book with No Pictures” by B.J. Novak.

Although Novak had never written a children’s book so far, he was inspired by his passion to make people laugh. Novak says “There’s nothing more satisfying than getting a laugh from a kid, because there’s no such thing as polite laughter, or social laughter”. Why not create a kid’s dream book? In a kid’s mind, creating a book that makes an adult say silly things that they don’t want to say is next to a giant candy island. According to Novak, it’s more than just getting a laugh. The book can help kids realize that words are your ally and can turn into something really powerful.

According to Novak, “At the school that the reading was at [in the trailer]—it’s a very orderly school. They had to calm the kids down after I read the line “Boo Boo Butt.” We had to cut like 60 seconds out of the tape, because they’re going crazy. They’re practically running around. They had to do a whole ritual of “1, 2, 3, shhh” to quiet them back down. After it was all done, they had a very orderly way to get the kids out, in line, and back to their classrooms. But one tiny little five-year-old African American girl just bursts out and ran out of the line, hugged me and pointed at me and said “You are hilarious.” And that’s been the highlight so far.”

Here are some pages featured in the book:

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Quotes courtesy of Vanity Fair.

Pictures courtesy of The Book With No Pictures.

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