Today's Blog: The Book With No Pictures

B.J Novak's hit children's book The Book With No Pictures has been a sensation because it does precisely what it says on the box - it has no pictures! It's also a marvellous example of a meta-book - a book which offers a continuous commentary on the act of reading. You can see Novak reading through his book here:; or read through a copy of the book here.
Novak's book can be the basis for a fun activity with junior classes. We can explain to students: At the moment there is a hit children's book called The Book With No Pictures. It's funny because of course nearly all children's books (for young kids) are picture books - or contain pictures of some kind. Novak's book doesn't.
The task of students can be to predict what the book will be about before they read through it fully. Attached here (PPT copy that students can use on the computer | PDF copy to print out) is an edited copy of the book with blank parts in it - students need to read through and fill in what might be funny to go in the blank parts (remember this book is for kids!). After students have done this, you can then read through together the full version of the text or watch through the clip of Novak reading it. The Book With No Pictures can then become a model for students to write their own satirical meta kids books. They can pick one of these titles:
*The completely boring book where nothing happens at all
*The book where absolutely nothing funny happens at all
*The book which contains absolutely nothing to learn whatsoever
*The book with absolutely no beginning, middle or end whatsoever
*The book that you should absolutely not read no matter what

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