Children's Book Review by Susan Stephenson, www.thebookchook.com
The Book with No Pictures was written by B.J.Novak and published by Penguin, 2014.
The Book with No Pictures is a children’s book …with no pictures. If you think that means it’s not suitable for children, think again!
From the publisher:
A book with no pictures?
What could be fun about that?
After all, if a book has no pictures, there's nothing to look at but the words on the page. Words that might make you say silly sounds ... In ridiculous voices...
Hey, what kind of book is this, anyway?
At once disarmingly simple and ingeniously imaginative, The Book With No Pictures inspires laughter everytime it is opened, creating a warm and joyous experience to share - and introducing young children to the powerful idea that the written word can be an unending source of mischief and delight.
My first reaction on hearing of this book last year was instant defence of my beloved picture book format, accompanied by harrumphs and tsk-tsk noises. Upon which I hastened off to examine the trailer, prepared to hate the book on sight. Some picture book champion I turned out to be! I fell in love with The Book with No Pictures despite lack of illustrations and boring cover, and suspect your kids will love it too.
What the book does so cleverly is that it invites kids to play, and to join in a delightful joke on those who are reading aloud to them. You see, books with no pictures are made up of words, and words must be read by a read-alouder no matter what. No matter what! In this way Novak compels one-who-reads-to-kids to utter strange words like BLORK and BLuuRF, to sing silly songs and make preposterous statements featuring robot monkeys and hippos named Boo Boo Butt.
Apart from being a monkey load of fun, I love the way The Book with No Pictures uses interesting fonts in different sizes and colours to bring words to life on the page. This makes it easier for a read-alouder to work out when to use a silly loud voice, or a begging-not-to-have-to-read cowed adult voice. And because there are NO pictures, kids’ eyes will naturally be drawn to all these interesting words, helping young readers engage with print. It’s a brilliant concept, one that will make other writers kick themselves for not having thought of it first!
If we want our kids to love reading, I believe we should supply them with books that tickle their funny bones as often as possible. The Book with No Pictures will mean eruptions of laughter at your place, and will long be remembered because of its invitation to play. Please find it soon!
Find more Children's Book Reviews on The Book Chook by clicking Reviews in the right sidebar.