If you ever need a book to read aloud – to a group of children, to a grandchild, to yourself on a crummy day – B.J.Novak’s The Book With No Pictures is the one.
“Here is how books work,” the hidden narrator confides. “Everything the words say, the person reading the book has to say. No matter what.” The (presumably adult) reader is made to sing, emit nonsense sounds, praise the child who is being read to, and say things like “I am a monkey who taught myself to read.”
The book uses words to create effect with no illustrations – not one. Some of the crazy words remind me of Lily Tomlin’s wild chanting in “Grace and Frankie” – not the kind of sounds usually coming out of a book – but fun to enunciate. Read it out loud and laugh at yourself.