I can’t call myself a huge fan of B.J. Novak, because my experience of him extends to his guest appearances in The Mindy Project and following him on Instagram and Twitter. I’m a fan though, and he has released two books this year, one of which I am yet to read (One More Thing), and the other of which I am reviewing here!
The Book With No Pictures is a children’s picture book, and as such, isn’t within the usual remit of books I usually review here. I don’t have children, so I can’t tell you that I read it to them and they loved it, though I have heard that it is a hit with the children who have had it read aloud to them. That’s the key with this book – you have to read it aloud. It actually commands you to do so.
“Everything the words say, the person reading the book has to say.”
The Book With No Pictures – B.J. Novak
So there are no pictures, but who needs pictures when the words are so entertaining? The way it is written makes the listener think that they are in on something with the book – the person reading aloud might not want to read words like ‘blork’ or ‘bluurf’, but the book says you have to read everything, so read it you must. It’s a lot of fun, and the asides that come alongside the silly words or phrases add to this sense of nonsense.
If you need any convincing, take a look at this video of B.J. Novak reading it to a group of children, who clearly love it.
Of course, it’s an American book, so there are going to be some Americanisms (use of the word ‘butt’ for instance). But in the end, I think it’s just funny, and I think children will love it.
The Book With No Pictures
First published: September 2014
Review copy provided by publisher