Book Review: The Book with No Pictures by BJ Novak


Stand-up comedian BJ Novak gives us the perfect “build a stronger connection with your child and earn extra brownie points” book. I am not kidding. The book has no pictures and is the perfect read aloud for not just your kid but for a whole group of them. It does not need any more explanation than that.


Dear parents – daddies and mommies,

Are you diagnosed with any of the following –

  1. Extreme shyness
  2. Too much inhibition
  3. Have trouble saying boo boo butt
  4. Afraid of judgemental remarks about behaviour
  5. Cant make monkey sounds – normal and robotic
  6. Suffers from mono tempos (basically no ups and downs in volume)

If your answer is mostly yes, then this book is not for you. If your answer is mostly no, then there is scope. But if your answer is an all time NO, then get ready to bring home the “World’s best Mom and Dad” awards because boy are you going to score with your kids!!!

This book is great for a fun, bond building evening with your child. The rule of the book is that the reader has no choice but to read everything in the book. Now making sure that rule hangs above the reader’s head, Novak has gone all out to throw in as much fun as possible for the kids. The choice of words, sounds and phrases are nothing but every child’s favourite form of fun – NONSENSE FUN!!!

This book is quite opposite to all the picture books that we come across – with enchanting visuals that support the narrative. The book is inventive, bold, novel and anarchic. Well isn’t that what children’s literature is about anyway. Now we have picture books with pictures and words, picture books with pictures but no words and just word books with no pictures. With all this inventive talent out there its only getting tougher to categorise these. Or do we need to?

Go for it! But make sure you are sitting on the ground because with all the laughing – you are definitely going to end up there.

Lovely hardback with a dust jacket is available online. Click, Click away.

Also check out the video for how you can read aloud the Novak way. To be honest, when I was watching Novak read aloud this book and the kids going crazy with it, I said to myself – This is just perfect for a birthday party, a book club or even library period. Try it out.


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