Puffin Books is publishing a companion to US actor BJ Novak's internationally bestselling children's book, The Book with No Pictures (Puffin). The new, again "non-traditional" book, is called The Alphabet Book With No Pictures and will be published in September 2017.
The concept behind The Book With No Pictures, published in 2014, was to avoid being "boring and serious" by virtue of everything written on the page having to be said aloud by the person reading it.
The Alphabet Book with No Pictures will build on this idea through "a rambunctious and innovative text" that, according to Puffin, grows sillier and more elaborate as the reader progresses through the alphabet. The hoped-for outcome is that kids will discover how letters work together to build sounds, words and sentences that get increasingly funny and imaginative.
"The further into the alphabet you get, the more powerful tools you have for laughter and fun," say Puffin. "By the end, instead of shouting ‘Read it again!’ as kids do after hearing The Book With No Pictures, kids will exclaim, ‘Let me read it again!’"
Anna Barnes, commissioning editor for picture books at Penguin Random House Children’s UK, acquired UK and Commonwealth rights from Helen Boomer at Dial Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers, a division of Penguin Random House US. Richard Abate of 3 Arts Entertainment holds translation rights. The book will publish simultaneously with Dial Books for Young Readers in the US and with Penguin Random House in Australia and New Zealand.
Novak said: "I want to inspire more kids to see that words can be as funny, exciting, and powerful as anything in the world. And to corner the market on books without pictures before kids realize I’m not the only person who writes them."
Barnes, at PRH Children’s UK, said: "BJ Novak's extraordinary debut, The Book With No Pictures truly broke the mould in the picture book genre and has fast become a favourite for children all around the world. And BJ’s second, equally innovative and enormously fun book, The Alphabet Book with No Pictures, looks set to do the same. I am delighted to be publishing the book in the UK and know that children – and parents – will love it, and beg to read it again and again."
Novak is best known for his work on NBC’s Emmy Award-winning comedy series "The Office" as an actor, writer, director, and executive producer. He is also known for his work as a standup comedian and for his performances in programs such as HBO’s "The Newsroom" and films such as Quentin Tarantino’s "Inglourious Basterds" and Disney’s "Saving Mr. Banks". He will next appear in "The Founder" alongside Michael Keaton.