- School closures due to the coronavirus pandemic have affected nearly 30 million US children.
- Actor B.J. Novak, star of "The Office," is reading his 2014 bestselling children's book, "The Book With No Pictures," to kids who are learning from home during the pandemic.
- The reading, which is part of a new virtual project called "Read Together, Be Together," will take place at 3 p.m. ET on the comedian's Instagram account.
- Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.
For parents looking for an activity to fill their children who are home due to school closures related to the coronavirus pandemic, "The Office" star B.J. Novak is available to entertain.
On Friday at 3 p.m. ET, Novak will read his bestselling children's book, "The Book With No Pictures," on his Instagram account. Novak's reading is part of a new campaign called "Read Together, Be Together," a virtual storytime project organized by Penguin Random House and Parents Magazine.
Published in 2014, "The Book With No Pictures" was Novak's first children's book, and, as the title suggests, the work lacks illustrations. Instead, it features silly sayings that the reader says aloud, such as, "I am a robot monkey" and "My head is made of blueberry pizza."
Novak told CNN that he wrote the book to help spread joy.
"The laughter of children is the most powerful drug of all," he told CNN in 2014. "If you get hooked on that, you're really in trouble."
Novak said the book was inspired by his best friend's son
The actor said he got the idea for the book after his best friend's 2-year-old would laugh uncontrollably when Novak said silly phrases.
"What can you do with the power of words?" he told CNN of how he thought about the book.
Novak released a follow-up book called, "The Alphabet Book With No Pictures"
Novak wrote a second children's book in 2018, called "The Alphabet Book With No Pictures," a goofy guide to letters. The actor said it was meant to get kids interested in reading.
"I want to inspire more kids to see that words can be as funny, exciting, and powerful as anything in the world," he said in a 2016 press release. "And to corner the market on books without pictures before kids realize I'm not the only person who writes them."
The "Read Together, Be Together" campaign, features a different celebrity hosting a virtual storytime each weekday at 3 p.m. ET. It was originally slated for a summer 2020 launch. It was moved up because of the coronavirus outbreak, according to People.
Other readers have included ballerina Misty Copeland and astronaut Scott Kelly.
As part of the project, Penguin Random House will donate 750,000 books to First Book, a nonprofit which provides educational resources to children in need.
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