Flash Review – The Book With No Pictures

The Book With No PicturesBook With No Pictures
B. J. Novak
Dial Books for Young Readers
Release Date:  September 30, 2014
ISBN 978-0-803-74171-3

Such a simple idea.  Such a hilarious result.

From the comedic mind of B. J. Novak (best known as Ryan the Intern on NBC Television’s “The Office”, for which he was also a writer, director and executive producer) comes a children’s book that is getting rave reviews from parents all over, who say their kids absolutely love it.

And what’s not to love?  It has the adult (or whoever is reading the book out loud) making all sorts of crazy statements and kooky sounds, with bright, loud typeface prompting big expressions and over the top (or tiny little) embellishments.  In this book, it’s not about story, or moral or crazy characters or beautifully lush or whimsical pictures – it’s all about sounds, how the book is read, the silliness of it all.  Read with even partial commitment, kids are enjoying it.  Go all in, and it’s hilarious for everyone.

What this book does for kids is obvious – it lets them have fun.  What it does for adults, though – or at least what it did for me – is remind us that kids don’t really need fancy gadgets, iPhone apps, animated movies or video games to have fun, to turn on, to engage.   What they need is someone to get silly with them, to get down on their level and just have fun.  They don’t even really need a book with only 32 pages of text and no pictures.

But it’s a step in the right direction.

If you have youngsters in your household, consider getting this book for Christmas, or anytime, really.  And then, let it open you up to all the fun you can have with your kids by making up your own silliness, without buying a thing, using nothing but your own imaginations.  I bet you’ll get as much out of it as your kids.  (And now since I think this flash review officially has more words than The Book With No Pictures, I’ll leave it at that!)