The Book With No Pictures, by B.J. Novak

Book with no pictures

Book with no pictures

The Book With No Pictures is a family favourite – guaranteed to provide some bedtime giggles.


Just as the title suggests, this is a book with absolutely no pictures! It doesn’t even provide a picture of the author! It does, however, contain some pretty funny words and uses the idea that words and books are powerful things that can ‘force’ the reader to say exactly what is written.

Why I love it:

In my house, generally speaking, Daddy is the fun one and Mummy is a little more serious. I’m the parent who makes them tidy up, not the parent who makes them laugh; so The Book With No Pictures is great chance for me to have the kids in stitches. This book truly forces the reader to bring out the silly and it’s a lot of fun to read and listen to.

Themes to discuss with your child:

I wouldn’t say The Book With No Pictures is full of thought-provoking themes, but there are still lots of interesting ideas to discuss with your child. The text challenges the idea that books need pictures in order to be interesting and shows children that this is not the case; what a great way to get them interested in chapter story books!

There is a strong message about the power of words – something very valuable for children as they start to read and write their own stories.

There is a great opportunity to discuss phonetics and spelling patterns and a terrific chance to introduce your child to the concept of onomatopoeia (words that sound the same as their meaning – think: glug, beep, oink etc.).

There is also a great chance to talk about the presentation of the words on the page – the way bold and colourful text has been used and the way the size of the text varies throughout the book, depending on the way it is intended to be read.

And then, of course, there is simply the humour. How lovely to end the day (or start, or spend –  we’re not fussy with when you read) with a book that makes you laugh. It’s fun and it’s one the kids will want again and again.

Questions to ask your child:

Before reading:

  • What do you think this book might be about?
  • Do you think this is a fiction book (a story) or a non-fiction book (facts)?
  • Do you think this looks like an interesting book?
  • Do you think this book will be funny?

After reading:

  • Was it a funny book?
  • What was your favourite page?
  • Why do you think the author, B.J. Novak, wrote this book?
  • Why do you think some words are large and some are small?
  • Why do you think some words are written in bright colours?
  • Do you think you could write a story that didn’t have pictures but was still a lot of fun to read?
  • What was your favourite word in the book?

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