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Picture-less book a hit with kids

A book titled “えがないえほん” (“E ga Nai Ehon,” or “The Book With No Pictures”) has been leaving children nationwide in stitches, taking top spot on online bookstore e-hon early last week.

The book was written by B.J. Novak, who is well-known for his work on NBC’s comedy series “The Office.” As the title suggests, the book isn’t illustrated. It begins by obligating the person reading it to say what’s written on the page — without exception. The prose starts out simple — “I am a monkey who taught myself to read. Hey! I’m not a monkey!” — before becoming increasingly silly, with readers being forced to utter nonsensical words (“blork,” “bluurf”) and ridiculous phrases (“My only friend in the whole world is a hippo named BOO BOO BUTT”).

Teachers and parents alike have been singing the book’s praises online.

I read the book to elementary school kids today,” @amethyst525 wrote on Twitter. “Everyone was laughing so hard.”

“I read the book to my son before he went to bed last night, ” wrote @you_mat_09, “but he didn’t fall asleep until after 10 p.m. because he couldn’t stop laughing.”

If you’re thinking about picking up a copy of the book for Christmas, be sure to remember the rule: You must say out loud what’s written — no matter what. To find the book in Japanese on Amazon, visit bit.ly/eganai-jp. For English, see bit.ly/eganai-e.

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