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The Book with No Pictures

The Book with No Pictures

I’m a big advocate of classic children’s books. Even before Liam was born, his bookshelves were filled with Eric Carle and Dr. Seuss, and books like Mike Mulligan and Blueberries for Sal are among the most read in our house. I still can’t get through The Giving Tree without welling up. But, I’ve always treated new children’s books with a healthy dose of skepticism, mainly because most we read weren’t all that memorable.

But, when I heard BJ Novak of The Office fame had written a children’s book, I decided to give it a shot. He’s a funny guy and the book was getting some good buzz. Plus I was intrigued by the concept – if you haven’t heard of it yet, his book is called The Book with No Pictures and just as the title would suggest, the book has no pictures. Not one picture in a children’s book. Novak’s idea was to create a children’s book where the words alone we’re engaging enough to keep the child entertained to show young children that reading books can be fun even when their aren’t any pictures.

Mom and son reading The Book with no PIcturesI wasn’t sure how it would go with Liam – he loves picture books and I didn’t know if not having something to look at would be an issue. Well, I was wrong. The book has become Liam’s new favorite. He laughs so hard reading it that it sometimes doesn’t seem possible that a book is making him laugh like that. He loves it. Plus, it’s a fun book to read. It requires you to be an animated storyteller for sure, but the book almost guides you through when to really bring the animation. The book was such a hit, I even bought a copy for Liam’s 5-year-old cousin for his birthday and I’m told he loves it too.

I highly recommend it for the preschool set. Only one word of caution – beware of passages from the book being repeated in public. A few days ago Liam squealed in the grocery story, “Mommy, you like to eat ants right off the rug!” It made me smile, but I definitely got some strange looks!



  1. Media Mom October 29, 2014 at 11:15 am

    I had to laugh when I read this because one of our favorite books is a book without words. It’s called Wave by Suzy Lee.
    It’s terrific because everyone in the family can “read” it. And while the illustrations clearly tell a story, it can be different every time.

  2. Jennifer Boggs October 29, 2014 at 2:47 pm

    I read this book with my 4-year old daughter and as soon as we got to the end she screamed, “Read it again!” She did this twice. So when I went in to be the Mystery Reader in her K-Prep class, I thought I’d see if it had the same effect on a group of kids. When I got to the end, at least three of the said, “Read it again!” I highly recommend. (Funny, I’m also reading B.J. Novak’s book of short stories. It’s fun for both my daughter and I to be reading the same author 😉

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