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The Book with No Pictures

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  25,129 ratings  ·  3,392 reviews
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 every time it is open
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published September 30th 2014 by Dial Books
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Average rating 4.29  · 
Rating details
 ·  25,129 ratings  ·  3,392 reviews

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Jesse (JesseTheReader)
an interesting and fun children's story! ...more
Jun 27, 2014 rated it liked it
on the one hand, i am not necessarily the most qualified person to judge this book. i don't have children, work with children, have family members who are children, or go near children, so i will never use this book as it is intended - to read aloud to children.

on the other hand, i do like a bunch of children's books, even though i am an old lady, but mostly because of the PICTURES. i like cute things.

and as far as this book's mission statement goes, it's noble - to teach kids that books don't
Lets see if I can get this link to work.

(Me reading a page to the girls. Is there a better testimonial?)


Eleanor: Dad, can we say how many stars to give it yet?

Dad: Gwen, what do you think? Are you ready? Poppy, are you ready?

Gwen: *Turns to Poppy* Say YES!!!

Poppy: yes.

Gwen: Say yes LOUD!!!

Poppy: YEEESSSS!!!

Dad: How many stars?

Everyone: FIIIIIIIVE!!!!! *Well, technically, Poppy only yelled out unintelligible noises sounding slightly like "five."*

Eleanor: Poppy, happy first rev
Nov 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: indy, owned
Very, very good. My son wouldn’t let me leave Pre school today without reading this to him. I got a weird look from a parent - it's sad that some don't understand the absolute importance of reading to their children! Impressed with the teacher for having it displayed with the activity that was set up on the table (big paper set up for their own drawings), and I’m impressed with the uniqueness of the book. Review to follow. I bought the book tonight, also. Love! ...more
Goodreads is about to get slammed with reviews of this book, as Novak just presented at the closing session of the American Library Association Conference. 1000 exclusive ALA ARC's were distributed, but only after hearing Novak speak. And you know what? Novak is a very smart man. Being funny is such an unfair business; it seems a lot of people enjoy throwing a wet blanket on actors and writers who are funny. If it's not your brand of funny, then there must be something wrong with the writer, nev ...more
Rachel Reads Ravenously
From the perspective of a children's librarian this book is fantastic for school visits and showing children books can be fun! If you have the right person reading it with all the voices, I can see this book being a gigantic hit with a lot of kids. (I would do preschool age and up!) ...more
Jul 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Why didn't I think of this?

When I was a school librarian, and the Invention of Hugo Cabret was taking the library by storm, I had a ton of parents who couldn't understand why their 1st and 2nd graders were clamoring for the giant book. They were always pleasantly surprised to find that the book was hiding a pretty big secret, the fact that the majority of the book was art. This book is kind of the opposite. Kids will feel like they're in on the secret.

As the author shared with librarians as part
Nov 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Children; Parents
Fun, utter cuteness.

This book has no pictures. At first children might think this will be boring, until they discover that the book is going to force the adult reading it to say all sorts of ridiculous things.

Children adore this. Especially forcing adults who are known to be grumpy and serious to say silly things such as:

My only friend in the whole wide world is a hippo named BOO BOO BUTT.

Hopefully you love making small children giggle and squeal in delight. However, if you are too much of grump
Oct 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Parents Beware!!! This story, while without the traditional photos, is meant to suck you in and have you read to your child. The trouble is, the book's words go on a meandering journey where you are required to admit being a "monkey brain" and utter "bluuurp" on numerous occasions. Your child will laugh (as Neo did) at all the silliness that befalls you, but remember, some of us have done it before you and survived. It has become Neo's favourite book ever... as he loves to see me utter all those ...more
Oct 24, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: library-borrowed
The students I read this to during our reading time laughed at all the nonsense words that I had to utter. I love the concept, but it was not really one of my favorite read aloud.
Sophia Triad
Mar 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children
My daughter brought me this book from the school library and insisted that I should read it to her immediately. I haven't heard of it before and I didn't even notice that the author is a well-known comedian 😏
I should have known better!

So, yes I read the book out loud without realising what this was about.

Yes, this book has no pictures.
Yes, this book is funny.
Yes, I was wondering what the heck I was reading.

Overall a very very very very pleasant experience.

And obviously shows to the children who
I did not think I would enjoy "The Book With No Pictures", but it ended up being one of my favorite children's books. It calls for interaction between child and adult, and because it is fueled by imagination, the story can be wildly different every time. B.J. Novak really hit this one out of the park. ...more
Aug 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
May 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: other, own, library, childrens
The learning-to-read process for children always includes the eventual climb from picture books to picture books with words and then finally, novels. What if this was completely reversed and the first books for children had NO pictures? This is the imaginative approach spawned by actor/producer/writer/author BJ Novak in, “The Book with No Pictures”.

“The Book with No Pictures” is a creative and uniquely stylized book targeting children up to about age 7 (per the author and publishers). In a sens
Donna Backshall
I just read this with Busy Phillips doing expert narration. The other choice was the author, which I'm going to choose next, because I can. Overdrive has offered me both.

Truth: "Here is how books work: Everything the words say, the person reading the book has to say. No matter what."

Challenge accepted. The result is the BEST. KIDS. BOOK. EVER. A true gigglefest.

I want grandchildren just so I can read this book to them.
Oct 04, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: picture-books
Mo Willems did it first (with We Are In A Book!) and did it better, in a way that will actually engage children with the story. I'm sure this was a fun project for the author and netted him a good paycheck from parents who are fans of his acting work, but it's something you can easily skip as part of your library's collection. ...more
Dec 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
5 stars?
No sir, this book is not a 5 star book, it is a 10 star book.

You will laugh and laugh and laugh as will the child and anyone else around you.

Rediculous and awesome.
Jon Nakapalau
Dec 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
First book that introduces to the concept of no pictures...big step for all of us.
Nadin Adel
Sep 30, 2016 rated it did not like it
Ok, I understand the moral. However it is not fun at all!

I would like to quote George Bernard Shaw when he said:

Mar 15, 2016 rated it liked it
This is a fun children's book. ...more
Settare (on hiatus)
Mar 29, 2020 rated it liked it
Update: I just realized that the author of this book is our good old Ryan from The Office. I hadn't noticed the name of the author when I read it. In light of this pleasant discovery, I just want to add some metaphorical stars to the book because B. J. Novak is hilarious. My rating will remain the same though.

Original Review:
This would be a very fun thing to read aloud to children. (As it is intended!)
Not that fun to read silently on your own.
Too bad I don’t have any children around me to read
May 舞
Sep 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
I'm not part of the intended audience but I had fun for about 2 minutes *that's how long it takes to read this book*. ...more
❀Aimee❀ Just one more page...
Prepare for giggles galore with young children. There are no pictures and the book starts with plain, ordinary, black font. Then it explodes with color and different fonts. Basically, the reader is at the whim of the author. The author gets the reader to read the most ridiculous things because, as the reader, you MUST read whatever the book matter what! Even if you say things like,
I am a monkey who taught myself to read...and now I am reading you this book with my monkey mout
Amanda - Mrs B's Book Reviews
Do not judge this book by its bland cover. The Book With No Pictures may look dull, boring and mundane, but once you open B.J. Novak’s picture book creation, you will be taken aback by the sheer power of the written word.

In our household, B.J. Novak is best known as one of our favourite characters in the television comedy series The Office. However, The Book With No Pictures sees this screen star leave his acting career aside, in favour of a new title as a c
Monica Edinger
Dec 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A book that absolutely demands to be read aloud is B. J. Novak’s The Book with No Pictures. The title says it true — there are no pictures at all. What there is is lots of silliness that is all designed to push the poor adult reading the book aloud into more and more awkwardness. And what kid doesn’t like seeing an adult put him or herself into the silliest position possible? While my 4th graders got a kick out of this one, I would guess it would be especially beloved (and demanded over and over ...more
Jan 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Cute book meant for an adult to read to a child. It really doesn't have pictures! ...more
Oct 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
Very clever! Optimal conditions for reading: children listeners have just consumed >5 Pixy Stix each and adult reader is former theater major. Also optimal if no one in storytime audience is legitimately named "Booboo Butt" or comes from a family of monkeys (or worse, robot monkeys), as all of these things are mocked mercilessly. ...more
Oct 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
HILARIOUS! How could it possibly be? No pictures? It's a hit!

A MUST for storytime and Public Library School-Group tours! Great for literacy education, too.
Miranda Reads
Dec 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely. Loved. This. One.

Review to come!

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بثينة العيسى
Feb 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
My boys loved this book, they want to read it over and over again.
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2019 Roe Reading ...: The Book With No Pictures 4 7 May 19, 2021 11:28PM  
Mentor Texts: Mentor texts 1 4 Mar 03, 2018 07:27PM  

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