Friday, May 22, 2020

#Booky100Keepers Day 19: "The Book With No Pictures" by B.J. Novak (Picture Puffin)

I love it when a #Booky100Keeper crops up that elicits such a sharp and happy memory of our book blogging journey.

This one arrived without fanfare, without prewarning (we literally saw no hype, no build up, not even a polite "Do you want to review this book?" but nevertheless "The Book With No Pictures" by B.J. Novak arrived and was instantly met with "no way, not reading it, don't like it!"

I don't know if other booky folk / book bloggers ever go through this with their young bosses. When they dig their heels in about something, it sometimes takes a lot of cajoling before they'll give something a try - but when they do they fall instantly in love with it... was the case here. Of course the main reason comedian and writer B.J. Novak's 'celebrity' book outstrips just about everything else you'll read by a sleb in kidlit is that he fully understands the audience he's writing for. He's a smart guy, and he knows kids are brilliantly smart too - so figured out a way to capitalise on the idea that a book without pictures that makes your adults look like complete nincompoops as they read it aloud to you would be a stroke of absolute genius, and wildly popular. And it is.

Let's see why shall we?

Nothing problematic so far....oh, wait a minute, what?

Oh no, this doesn't look good!

GAHHHH! So of course by the end of the book you (the adult reader) feel like you've been 'had' and your children feel like they've managed to deliciously get one over on you as you robotically follow the instructions laid out in front of you.

It makes for a superb, engaging and brilliant performance piece if you enter into the swing of things properly - and it's guaranteed to put a big old smile on your kids' face for sure. I'm slightly sad that we've never seen any follow-ups or anything else from B.J (I haven't googled to see if he ever did another). But this is a keeper and one we still wheel out if I'm getting too ahead of myself and C wants to bring me down a peg or two!

Original Review Link:

The Book With No Pictures by B.J. Novak (Puffin Books)

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