20821299“It might seem like no fun to have someone read you a book with no pictures. It probably seems boring and serious. Except… Here is how books work: Everything the words say, the person reading the book has to say.”

What is this book about?

In honor of Dutch Children’s Book Week I thought it would be a fun idea to review a children’s book. And since B.J. Novak’s The Book With No Pictures finally came out last week, I couldn’t help myself and bought it on the first day of the Book Week! As the title already indicates, Novak’s children’s book debut is a book without any pictures. It’s a conceptual book that, by only using text, introduces kids to the written word and what books can do. It basically gives children all the power over the adults reading to them, since they have to read every word the book says, even though this means reading silly things like ‘Boo Boo Butt.’ In the interview we did with him last month he further elaborates on this.

Why is it boring?

Children’s books are obviously meant for children. So if you feel all grown up and serious and too mature for anything that doesn’t classify as adult (non-) fiction, then yes, this book is very boring indeed. When this – unfortunately – is the case, I would advise you to stay away from the book as far as possible, since it wouldn’t do any good to you, and vice versa.

Who would you recommend it to?

This book is a must-read and must-have for anyone who loves original ideas and books. I would mostly recommend it to people who have young children or friends and family with children to read it to. But even if you don’t have children (yet) and are very much into children’s books or books that put a big smile on your face and are laugh-out-loud-funny, then this will most definitely be a perfect match for you.

Why should I read it if it’s boring?!

This book is everything what reading and loving books is about: it shows kids why the written word isn’t boring and stupid, but is actually loads of fun! I love how original and funny this book is and makes you want to have kids of your own, all in order to read this book to them and thereby transmitting the love for books. I also love how Novak has used different fonts and colors and sizes and typography throughout the book. Once again it shows how words and letters aren’t static and boring, but are actually very playful and alive. So yes, it doesn’t matter if you’re young or old, this is an amazing and highly entertaining read. The message and purpose of the book makes me love it even more. I mean, how can you dislike a book that teaches kids about the awesomeness of words and books without it ever being preachy and moralistic? Bottom line: everyone should buy The Book With No Pictures and read it over and over again. If it were up to me, I would put Novak’s book on my classics shelf, if only I had such a shelf. And if all of the above hasn’t convinced you, then this book trailer most certainly will.

Rating: 5/5

This Boring Book Recommendation is written by Maritza Dubravac, Bored to Death book club contributor. She also writes for Books & Bubbles, Hebban.nl about books and sometimes dabbles in food writing at Nadelunch.com.
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Maritza Dubravac was Bored to Death's very first columnist. She writes about her life as a bookseller, hosts the YA book club with us and is a mean cook. She also writes for Books & Bubbles, Hebban.nl about books and even dabbles in food writing as an editor for Nadelunch.com.

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