The Book with No Pictures

by B. J. Novak

Hardcover, 2014


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Call number



Rocky Pond Books (2014), Edition: 1, 48 pages


"In this book with no pictures, the reader has to say every silly word, no matter what"--

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User reviews

LibraryThing member yougotamber
This book is fantastic. Arianna waited in the massive line at BEA to grab this ARC. I think she'll be posting a review on ShelfNotes of this but I wanted to show my love of the book as well. This is a kids book without pictures, yes... without pictures. Think your kid won't want you to read it?
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THINK again! You'll be forced to read this over and over and over again... just go buy it for your kid, trust me.
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LibraryThing member klack128
Fun, and silly, and perfect. As soon as I read this, I knew I needed to buy it as a present for my niece, and couldn't wait to read it to her.
LibraryThing member Jclark5
I recently discovered this FABULOUS book written by the famous B.J Novak, who was the creator of the famous show "The Office." After watching B.J. read this book to an elementary school I was fascinated to see how engaged the children were with the actual text of the book. Almost as if the
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illustrations were not missed at all. I would use this book in my classroom to emphasize that pictures are not needed to make a book worthy or interesting. The text can be just as enticing as pictures!
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LibraryThing member alovett
The first children’s book from actor and writer B.J. Novak of The Office may not have any pictures, but it is by no means “boring and serious.” As all children familiar with storytime will know, the adults reading have to say whatever is written in the book, which in this case is a series of
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increasingly silly phrases and loud noises. Adults play along as the reluctant reader forced to say ridiculous things which will have children erupting with laughter in minutes. Because of this dynamic, the book is well suited for storytime with large groups. In lieu of illustrations typeface of various size, font, and color creates visual interest. However, it is the clever text and the experience of reading which will make this book a favorite for children. With this book Novak has demonstrated that he understands children’s humor as well as he does adult’s. Highly recommended. Ages 5-8.
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LibraryThing member StephanieWeiner
This book was extremely entertaining to read through. The story was about how the adult reading the book had to say every word printed. This led to amusing situations such as the adult having to say they were a monkey robot. Another reason I liked this book is because the words were so enthralling
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pictures weren’t needed. Every turn of the page brought a new twist. I think the big idea of the book is words are powerful.
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LibraryThing member Juliekessler1
This may be one of my favorite books I have ever read. I love this book because of how unique and clever it is. Like the title says, there are no pictures, but there does not need to be because the text is so funny. The text does not necessarily tell a story, but instead is talking to the audience.
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The book is about someone reading a book, which makes it very humorous for little kids. For example, a page of the book says, “BLRK! Wait what? That doesn’t even make sense.” The book is funny and the message is just to prove that books do not need pictures to make them fun. I have never seen or heard of anything like this and I need to go to buy it.
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LibraryThing member cynalibo
This book made my son laugh and laugh. I said many silly things, like "I am a monkey" and "boo boo butt." Really fun to show how not all books need pictures to be good.
LibraryThing member naturalbri
About the Book

This book is destined to be a HUGE hit with all children.

It is, as it says, a book with no pictures.

It's also a book that will have kids:




Enjoying Reading



Oh, yes, it involves the parents/readers too!

For, just like all good books, the reader
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has to commit to reading every word aloud.

Even words like:



I am a robot monkey!

You will:

Embarrass yourself

Enjoy yourself

Inspire a child to read

It is anything but boring.

What I Thought

This book does so many things, on so many levels.

Firstly, it helps a child and a parent ( or any combination of child and reader) bond over the beauty that is story telling. It will have the child sitting on the edge of their seat, in anticipation of what will be read next. They love every word that comes out of the reader's mouth and find joy in reading, even when there are no words.

Secondly, it inspires children to read. Often, we find children learn to 'read,' but have only really fallen in love with pictures and picture books. They haven't learned to love the real beauty of reading - the imaginative, joyful process of feeling the words and imagining the result. Only when they have done that can they truly enjoy a book, for they have created a world all their own. This books inspires the first steps of that. The children listen intently as they are read to. None of the words are set to picture, so they set off themselves, imagining the reader as they will.

I can only imagine what some of the robot monkeys look like, much less what a blork is!

Next, it promotes laughter and fun. In a world where things are too serious too fast, ever changing and always moving, this book gets us to stop and just...laugh. Adult and child alike, you will feel lighter and happier after reading this book. I even felt lighter reading it aloud, to myself, when I first read through!

Finally, it gives adults a chance to let loose. We all need a moment to just, well, make fun of ourselves. We get too caught up in business and how to make ends meet. We are always trying to look our best. This book ruins all that, in such a good way. We learn to embarrass ourselves and laugh at ourselves, in a great way. It brings you and your children closer and shows them that it's ok to be silly sometimes.

Overall, I am so impressed by this book. As I said above, this is so much more than just a fun children's book. It is a way to inspire, to dream, to laugh, to love , to bond and to enjoy time with those you love. I honestly love this book and think it is a great purchase you should make for you and your children. They will love it and they'll see, sometimes it is more fun to read A book With No Pictures!
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LibraryThing member sweetiegherkin
This book is a hilarious romp through all the silliness words can have. Being a "picture book" with no pictures, this book introduces the youngest readers to the idea that books can still be entertaining even without illustrations. It accomplishes that by having the adult reader need to say a bunch
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of ridiculous things like " ... I am reading you this book with my monkey mouth ... " and struggle through pronouncing nonsense sound effects like "GLuURR-GA-wocko," all against their protests peppered throughout the text. While the emphasis is on the words and their meanings (or non-meanings as the case may be), the book is still a little more exciting to behold than your average paperback novel as it does have a smattering of different colors and fonts. All in all, this is definitely a book I would recommend for a read aloud story time, whether one on one with your favorite little one or in a library or school setting.
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LibraryThing member kitbraddick
I LOVED this book. I never thought a children's book with no pictures could be so fantastic. I can just picture my future students or future children laughing endlessly at this book. It's definitely a book for a parent or teacher to read to a child/children, not really for them to read on their own
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because the element of making the reader completely silly wouldn't exist. If you're a parent or a teacher who reads to your kids/students I highly recommend this book. It's good for many ages if read with expression and enthusiasm. One of my favorites thus far.
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LibraryThing member PolyDrive
For such a simple idea, this book holds a lot of entertainment. By using different font colors and sizes, the reader is almost obligated to read it in an animated fashion. I used this in my read aloud to talk about how humor comes in different forms - pictures and text. My students absolutely loved
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LibraryThing member humouress
This is a very serious book; a must for parents to read to their children.

In fact, to quote from the book,

"Here is how books work:

Everything the words say, the person reading the book has to say."

And also,


I bought this at the request of my then-5 year old, whose teacher had
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read it to the class - in fact, I had to order it for him - and I read it to my two boys at bedtime last night. I usually don't read books myself before I read them to the boys so that I see it fresh, too (unless, of course, they're well-worn favourites or books from my childhood). The boys loved it, and by two pages in were ready for a re-read. It is not a long book, but it is loads of fun. (And, for once, the blurb warning on the back is eerily accurate.)

Provided your the child it's being read to.

Not for the elegance of prose or the quality of writing (because, really, 'BLORK!'?), but for sheer, exuberant entertainment value. And, oh, alright; I don't mind reading it again. Even aloud. To an audience. Five stars.

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LibraryThing member mmeharvey
I fist came across this book on YouTube and I ended up using it as a read aloud for grades k-6. Using text only, it is a hilarious story that highlights the power of words. My students (of all ages) especially loved the part in which I (the narrator) was forced to read the words "boo boo butt".
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Adding dramatic flair to the read aloud definitely helps with the humor. I purchased 2 copies of the text and haven't been able to keep either one on the shelves since. I highly recommend this text!
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LibraryThing member loross
This book provides a valuable message to children that books can be fun and enjoyable without having every page filled with pictures. It takes a lot more to keep a young readers attention without bright colors and illustrations. But, it is a good introduction to future reading too.
LibraryThing member BethWal94
This informational book (loosely used), tells the reader how when someone reads a book, they have to read everything. The author does a good job at prompting the readers voice to change, volume to change, and facial expressions to change with just his words. I think that this book informs kids how
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to read aloud in a fun and involving way. There are many parts in the book where the author waits for the audiences response, and has that interaction with the students. In the end, the book has the reader begging to be done reading the book, which of course, the book continues for a few more crazy pages of reading.
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LibraryThing member jolenaryan
I loved this book it makes books with out pictures appealing and teaches the age old "don't judge a book by its cover".

Curricular connections - This book could be used to teach kids to read different books and not to judge a book by just having lots of pictures. You could also make an assignment
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where the kids created their own pictures for the book.
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LibraryThing member zkstonem
This is a fun and engaging book that can be used to look at different text features and how they cue expression while reading.
LibraryThing member NiinaMariie
Very cute book to read during free time or the end of the day. Has silly words in it and children really enjoy it.
LibraryThing member Sullywriter
A picture-less picture book. Fun, nonsensical metafiction with artful typography great for reading aloud.
LibraryThing member MartinBodek
Here's the deal with this book: it's a sort of weird genius. When I picked it up - having in mind to produce the same effect with my children that Mr. Novak had in his popular clip showing him reading the book to guffawing children - I already had in mind a review which would read simply: "Here's
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the problem with this book: it doesn't come with B.J. Novak." Scratch that, because I was wrong. Part of the reason I thought I'd be right is because I'm not the most talented or effusive children's book reader. I was wrong on that count too. My children are 9, 7, and 4, and they were falling all over themselves with laughter despite my poor stylings. There's something about the way this book is constructed - meaning, it's not just that it's missing pictures - that makes this book such a joy to experience. I'd love to figure out it's DNA and recreate the same magic. This is really some kind of wonderful.
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LibraryThing member bandpmom
Brilliant book! It is hysterical and so fun to listen to and read. We had a pro football player come to the elementary school where I work and he read this book to the students. They had a blast! Run out and get this book for the little one in your life for Christmas!
LibraryThing member fueledbycoffee
A friend of mine is an Awesome Super Librarian (can leap stacks of books in a single bound!). She happened to share a youtube video of BJ Novak reading this at some kind of kids assembly. I thought it was brilliant.

I don't watch TV (on occasion I may catch Netflix) so I was unaware that the author
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was a famous actor. Knowing that now makes no difference to me. I still think this is an engaging and fun book for kids...for all ages, really.

My favorite part about this book is the pictureless notion introduced to kids by encouraging them in a humorous and non-intimidating way to progress to chapter books. Books without pictures can be enjoyable, too...and a decidedly fun bonus to hear a grownup read aloud,

"My only friend in the whole wide world is a hippo named Boo Boo Butt."
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LibraryThing member DanielleMD
Had this read aloud to me, it was awesome. This book is hilarious! Kids (and grow ups) will love it!
LibraryThing member amkestek
Silly story, would use to get kids interested in books.
LibraryThing member dbaker16
I loved “The Book with No Pictures” by B.J. Novak. The title of the book is accurate in that the book contains absolutely no pictures. What makes the book special is that the book contains a rule. The rule states that “everything the words say, the person reading the book has to say. At first
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the book only contains black and white text. It dares the reader to continue. As the book goes on the pages contain ridiculous words like “glurr-ga-wocko, and “blaggity blaggity.” The book is a short read, and keeps the reader engaged with colorful text. The big idea of the book is that a book does not need pictures to be ridiculous.
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Utah Beehive Book Award (Nominee — Children's Picture — 2017)
Buckaroo Book Award (Nominee — 2016)
BILBY: Books I Love Best Yearly (Early Readers — 2016)
Golden Archer Award (Nominee — Primary — 2016)
Charlotte Award (Nominee — Primary — 2016)
Colorado Children's Book Award (Nominee — Picture Book — 2016)
3 Apples Book Award (Winner — Young Readers — 2017)
Volunteer State Book Award (Nominee — Primary — 2017)
Magnolia Book Award (Winner — 2017)
Sakura Medal (Picture Books — 2016)
Iowa Goldfinch Award (Nominee — 2017)


Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

48 p.; 10.31 inches


0141361794 / 9780141361796


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