B.J. Novak smiles more than you think he would.
As the “temp” on The Office all those years, he seemed like a sad little clown. (It was probably just the crushing weight of all of his dying dreams at Dunder-Mifflin.)
But when I dragged the family to B.J. Novak’s book-signing at RJ Julia in Madison last night (props to the local independent bookstore!), and he read his crazy clever new children’s book, The Book With No Pictures – I was knocked out.
He was ADORABLE. I mean, just incredibly engaging and witty and so smart – but not in that sneering way that implies that he reads the New Yorker and I don’t. (Which is true, but he’d never say so. At least not to my face.)
Oh, and B.J. Novak also thinks I’m cool.
Anyway, that’s what he said. (See how I worked in an Office quote?)
In the signing line, I wrangled over what to say. I settled on something pithy but eloquent like, “Thank you.” I thought I might add in a quick — “Loved the book” — just to extend our time together.
Instead, when the big moment arrived, I turned flaming red and blurted out:
“I sound like a total dork, but…” (Blurggggg…enter lots of gushy words of stalker fandom.)
He looked me right in the eye, smiled like a cute little hipster angel, and said, “I don’t think that makes you a dork. I think that makes you COOL.”
Consider my day MADE, y’all.
So, on this – DAY 2 of my #write31Days blogging challenge (in which I made grand claims that I’d improve your family life with fun/funny/funktastic stuff this month) – I present to you The Book With No Pictures.
If you have a kid ages 3-7ish, this is high comedy. It’ll make you say buffoonish stuff out loud that will have your kids rolling on the floor – which they were actually doing last night. I saw it.
It also reminds me of The Monster at the End of this Book — one of my all-time favorite books as a kid. (If you haven’t read it, go get that one too.)
When you read books like these out loud, you can’t be a drip. You have to work your best Grover impression. You have to say words like “boo boo butt.” You have to sell it. And that’s when reading time with kids is a blast.
B.J. Novak said he wants kids to see the power in words – that with words, they can make their grown-ups act silly. But that’s just the start. If they understand the power of words, then they can be real rabble-rousers in life.
Ah, that’s the stuff that makes a word nerd like me swoon. And say “globbity-glibbity.”
That’s what he said.
P.S. For slightly more grown-up fun, also check out Novak’s book trailer on Amazon for his collection of short stories, One More Thing. It’s a French film parody with Mindy Kaling that KILLS. I have watched it thrice and still die laughing.