B.J. Novak: Children’s Literary and Publishing Hero

For those who do not recognize the name B.J. Novak, you might know the character he played, Ryan Howard (the temp) on the American version of television show “The Office”. I heard about how he decided to write a children’s book and it was completed late last year. I am a fan of “The Office” and know what an incredible writer and editor he was for the show, so I was really curious as to what his book was about. The book is called, The Book With No Pictures, written of course by himself, B.J. Novak.

I found this to be such a strange change of writing mediums for Mr. Novak. To be perfectly honest, I was unsure how well it would do because of how this type of book isn’t what kids are used to reading. The book is 48 pages long and there are, obviously, no pictures. This book is also in printed form, while there are e-book copies, and has been on the New York Times bestselling list for 20 weeks (oddly enough, the book is under the Children’s Picture Books category). Unfortunately, I was unable to find out the difference in print and e-book sales.

Despite the fact that e-books and interactive books available on electronic devices, this book has been popular with children, and adults(it’s such a fun read) alike with nothing but words to engage them. Although it is more comedic if you read the book with a silly voice. Perhaps we should stop and think about what kids really want and need out of a book. We might find that there can be a happy medium for both print and e-books.

Be sure to check out the wonderful wordsmith, B.J. Novak reading his book to a young audience here, courtesy of Penguin Kids Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cREyQJO9EPs

Sources:

http://www.nytimes.com/best-sellers-books/picture-books/list.html

http://www.cnn.com/2014/12/01/living/bj-novak-book-with-no-pictures-parents/

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