My favourite part of the day with my children is story time. Partly because it is the end of the day and leads into the peaceful evening. Also, any part of the day that is regimented with a routine is easy parenting. But, shutting the world off and diving into a couple good reads is a wonderful experience to share with kids. Often though, you will read a book that is not at all what you expected. A library book that turns into an hour long adventure. An unexpected theme that does not align with your beliefs. Sometimes it’s just a really strange book. Unexpected is what the book I am reviewing today is all about. Never judge a book by its cover, and you never know what you are getting yourself into.
The Book With No Pictures is a humorous children’s book published in ‘014 that stays true to the promise of having zero illustrations. Written by actor, comedian, director, producer, author, B.J. Novak, most recognizable from his work on the Emmy award winning sitcom, The Office. In a time where there are literally thousands of picture book options out there, opting for no illustrations may seem like a surprising move. A move that paid off as The Book With No Pictures has met with positive reviews and is one of the best selling children’s books in the last few years.
The story begins with the admittance that a book without pictures could be quite boring. Then the twist comes in to play. Whomever is reading the story is obliged to say whatever the book says. Parents, teachers, or whoever, has to read out loud some of the silliest noises and sounds you have ever heard. The book continues by making the reader admit that the child being read-to is the greatest kid who ever was. As the child laughs and enjoys the silliness of it all, the reader pushes through page after page of ridiculousness in an attempt to reach the end. Vocalizing every word and sound along the way.
The trick that is The Book With No Pictures can meet with mixed, but always hilarious results. If you can surprise someone into reading this book, it is bound to be funny. Especially if you can fool a conservative grandparent, or serious uncle. No two people will read the book the same, adding their own twists and emphasize on the sounds and captions. In fact, the publishers even held a contest with hundreds of videos of people sharing their interpretation of the ‘story’. So, there are many hilarious videos you can find on the web.
One of the most enjoyable parts of reading to kids is the character and voices you can add, so to make reading a blast. The Book With No Pictures leaves you with no option but to add a charismatic silliness while reading. Rewarding children as they get to laugh at you the whole way through. I would highly recommend reading this book to any child in your life. Even better is giving this book as a gift so the sprout can find more people to trick into reading it. I give this book a 5/5, for taking a creative spin on reading to children. An achievement in ‘picture’ books that can never be repeated. This is a one-of-a-kind book, with timeless humour for the whole family.
Thanks booknerds, BLaARfIN!