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March Discussion – The Book with No Pictures by BJ Novak

The Book With No PicturesOur picture book choice for March was certainly one that has taken the world by storm.  The Book with No Pictures is such a simple concept we were all wondering why we hadn’t thought about writing this book.  A few of our members had seen this book via the youtube clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cREyQJO9EPs where the author BJ Novak reads the book aloud to a group of students from K-2.  Some had had success with their students by playing this clip in the library during lunchtimes.

The overwhelming response to this book was that the students love it and it has engaged students who do not normally like to read.  Many of our t-ls had students queuing up to borrow it at lunchtime.  We looked at the visual components of this book that achieves its message through the use of white space, variations of colour, size, font, bolding of text and the use of a variety of punctuation forms.

Initially many students were a little unsure at the first reading until they fully grasped the concept and teachers had the most success with reading this to year 1s and 2s.  We agreed that it is definitely a book that you need to practice reading first yourself in order to prepare your funniest voices for some quite difficult strings of words and phrases.  The children are often very excited when this book is read to them so timing of this reading is essential.

We discussed the placement of this book on our library shelves; if there are no pictures in this book, should it then get shelved as a “picture book”?  We agreed that it should be placed in a position where students will have access to it.  Overall, both groups loved this book.