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The Book with No Pictures Hardcover – September 30, 2014
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From School Library Journal
K-Gr 2—The actor (and writer, producer, and director) has penned his first picture book, but can it be called a picture book when there are no pictures? Entering the field of unique interactive books begging to be opened, including Hervé Tullet's Press Here (Chronicle, 2011) and Adam Lehrhaupt's Warning: Do Not Open This Book! (S. & S., 2013), this title will instantly intrigue children. Upon opening the book, readers are drawn in ("Here is how books work: everything the words say, the person reading the book has to say. No matter what."). What follows is an uproariously raucous time, with readers being forced to utter nonsense words ("blork," "bluurf") and phrases that will have young listeners in stitches ("And my head is made of blueberry pizza."). Admittedly, there are no illustrations, but Novak has employed the use of various sizes of black typeface with expansive white space and color to highlight some of the text. This book is sure to be a crowd-pleaser, and it's perfect for one-on-one sharing with a parent or caregiver. Expect requests for repeated readings.—Michele Shaw, Quail Run Elementary School, San Ramon, CA
"Conceptually radical . . . making the refreshing and contrarian case that words alone have sensory and imaginative vibrancy to spare."—Mark Levine, The New York Times Book Review
* "“This book may not have pictures, but it's sure to inspire lots of conversations—and laughs . . . A riotously fresh take on breaking the fourth wall.”"— Kirkus, starred review
"This book is sure to be a crowd-pleaser, and it’s perfect for one-on-one sharing with a parent or caregiver. Expect requests for repeated readings."—School Library Journal
"Actor Novak’s expert sense of comic timing is on full display in his first picture book . . . sure to deliver big laughs."— Publishers Weekly
"Listeners will be tickled by hearing adults say ridiculous things . . . The comic pacing and foolproof theatrics ensure a wild and silly trip through the pages for everyone."— The Horn Book
"This picture book with no pictures knows a thing or two about both books and kid-friendly comedy . . . Once children get the joke, they'll want to play it on as many of their grownups as possible."— The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"Unlike any of the children's books you read growing up."— Bustle.com
"Will have little ones laughing and finding a new appreciation for words."— Entertainment Weekly
"A perfectly-pitched tool for parental humiliation and childish glee."— The Boston Globe
Top customer reviews
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Content: It is basically silly with some nonsense words and absurd statements. There is no question that this is a fun book. It is meant to make the kids laugh and enjoy reading. If it has any sort of moral teaching point it would be to avoid making assumptions. ( Sort of the proverbial, " don't judge a book by it's cover" message) I have heard some say they don't like the hippo being named BooBooButt. It's a personal thing. I thought it was funny. I think that is the only mildly controversial line in the book.
Font, length, vocabulary: I love the bold black letters. They are easy to read for beginning readers as well as old tired eyes. The length was perfect for young readers who might not have a long attention span. The wording choice was great. The author chose mostly simple words that are very easy to understand. There were a few isolated phrases that were trickier and great for building vocabulary skills. (ie. utterly preposterous).
Price, value: More than fair
Overall: I would definitely recommend this book to anyone with children.
As the reader, you do have to get into it and play along like the book is making you read things you don't want to say to really make it enjoyable. If you're not good at that, you might not get it. For that reason, I wouldn't recommend it as a book for a child learning to read; I think it's better suited for adults to read to children.