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Pre-K

Growing Reader

Books for Fans of The Book with No Pictures

by Jennifer Garry

books-for-fans-of-the-book-with-no-pictures

Since its release in 2014, BJ Novak’s The Book with No Pictures has been my go-to read-aloud book. No matter the group’s age or interest level, this silly story pulls readers in and demands their attention.

I’m not sure why this book grabs even the most reluctant readers. Maybe it’s the way it breaks the fourth wall or the novelty of a book being about a book. It might be the nonsense words or how the person reading it aloud sounds completely ridiculous. Whatever it is, kids and parents alike frequently name The Book with No Pictures a favorite.

The books below use some of the same strategies to engage readers and might end up next to The Book with No Pictures on your favorites list.

  • Bad Drawer

    by Seth Fishman, illustrated by Jessixa Bagley, Armand Baltazar, Anna Bond, Seth Fishman, Travis Foster, Jessica Hische, Tillie Walden, and Ethan Young

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    Like Novak’s book, this one starts with mostly text and directly addresses the reader. It’s about a character who has a fantastic story idea but cannot draw. His attempts at drawing will start the giggles that last for the rest of the story. In the end, he collaborates with his friends to bring his idea to life.

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  • I Don't Want to Read This Book

    by Max Greenfield, illustrated by Mike Lowery

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    This book by Max Greenfield is for the most reluctant readers in The Book with No Pictures fandom. Told mostly through text, the story lists the reasons the narrator does not want to read. Kids may nod their heads in agreement at first, but as the book continues, they’ll be in stitches as they realize they can’t stop reading this goofy book.

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  • Have You Seen This Book?

    by Angela DiTerlizzi, illustrated by Tom Booth

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    Another book that breaks the fourth wall, Have You Seen This Book? begins with a narrator searching for his favorite book. He asks the reader if they’ve seen it, going into more and more detail with every page turn—until the reader realizes they’re holding his lost book!

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  • Please Don't Read This Book

    by Deanna Kizis, illustrated by Sam Boughton

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    This book reels kids in by daring them not to follow its rules. “So please don’t do any of the cool and awesome things this book tells you NOT to do, because then you’ll have WAY too much fun,” the concerned-looking narrator says in the opening pages. He then tells kids not to make fart noises, silly faces, and more.

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  • No One Likes a Fart

    by Zoe Foster Blake, illustrated by Adam Nickel

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    Speaking of fart noises, I’m pretty sure nothing can make kids (and adults) laugh more than a fart joke. This book is the silly story of a fart who wants to make a friend but has a hard time—seeing as he’s pretty stinky.

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  • Counting to Bananas

    by Carrie Tillotson, illustrated by Estrela Lourenço

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    Going back to books about books, Counting to Bananas features a banana who wants to be the star of his book and argues with the narrator. It is quick-witted and features (mostly) rhyming text with laugh-out-loud interjections and a hilarious, unexpected ending.

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  • Snappsy the Alligator (Did Not Ask to Be in This Book)

    by Julie Falatko, illustrated by Tim J. Miller

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    This is another book that features a sparring main character and narrator. Snappsy is going about his day, but the narrator makes things sound far more exciting than they are. Throughout the story, the two keep trying to one-up each other until, like in Counting to Bananas, it comes to a surprising, comical conclusion.

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  • Find Fergus

    by Mike Boldt

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    In Find Fergus, the narrator tries to help an eager, bespectacled brown bear play hide-and-seek. But Fergus is really, really bad at hiding, so the narrator gives him tips and tricks for hiding effectively. Readers will giggle as Fergus tries to hide behind a skinny tree, in a crowd of little bunnies and squirrels, in a group of polar bears, and more.

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