Saturday, May 9, 2020

Review - The Book With No Pictures

The Book With No Pictures
by B. J. Novak
Date: 2014
Publisher: Dial Books
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 48
Format: e-book
Source: library

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 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.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

This is a book whose success is highly dependent upon the person doing the reading. As the book has no pictures (and no story, for that matter), voice and inflection in the reader are very important. This really isn't a great book to read silently to yourself.

I got this as an e-book from the library, and it had the option of narration by the author. I read it by myself the first time, and then tried it with the narration. The latter works. The former doesn't. Kids will probably love the text (especially if whoever is reading it to them really hams it up). It's silly and ridiculous and grownups will have to make lots of funny noises. All in all, it's pretty fun...

... for kids.

I can see this being a favourite of children and a dreaded chore for their parents. But, on the plus side, it does send the message that books without pictures can be fun, which is a great way to plant the seed and get young readers interested in something beyond illustrated works.

Premise: 3/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 3/5
Illustrations: n/a
Originality: 4/5

Enjoyment: 3/5

Overall: 3.2 out of 5

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