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SOMETIMES WHEN I’M BORED

An insightful, encouraging book full of self-guided remedies.

Awards & Accolades

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  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2022

A boy copes with boredom with parental guidance in this wise picture book about finding opportunity in quiet moments.

A young child laments that idle time is no fun: “Sometimes when I’m bored, everything bothers me.” But when the narrator talks to Momma, she promises that boredom just means something special is ahead. All the child has to do is find it by exploring natural curiosity, using imagination, building something new, or following a natural sense of wonder. Daddy suggests that feeling lonely is an opportunity to play pretend, draw a picture, or write to a loved one. The boy takes these suggestions to heart, and now, when he’s bored, the world is full of possibility. Serani, a psychologist and professor at Adelphi University, carefully balances the “Ugh!” feeling of childhood boredom with the open door of opportunity that unstructured time presents. Along with crafting the authentic child voice of the narrator and using straightforward text and simple sentence structure to help emergent readers, she also offers adults detailed notes on how to support children through their boredom. Teis’ realistic paintings center a Black family in images filled with familial love. Highlights of blue and purple represent the child’s imagination and sparking creativity.

An insightful, encouraging book full of self-guided remedies.

Pub Date: July 19, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-63198-695-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Free Spirit Publishing

Review Posted Online: Aug. 6, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2022

OTIS

From the Otis series

Continuing to find inspiration in the work of Virginia Lee Burton, Munro Leaf and other illustrators of the past, Long (The Little Engine That Could, 2005) offers an aw-shucks friendship tale that features a small but hardworking tractor (“putt puff puttedy chuff”) with a Little Toot–style face and a big-eared young descendant of Ferdinand the bull who gets stuck in deep, gooey mud. After the big new yellow tractor, crowds of overalls-clad locals and a red fire engine all fail to pull her out, the little tractor (who had been left behind the barn to rust after the arrival of the new tractor) comes putt-puff-puttedy-chuff-ing down the hill to entice his terrified bovine buddy successfully back to dry ground. Short on internal logic but long on creamy scenes of calf and tractor either gamboling energetically with a gaggle of McCloskey-like geese through neutral-toned fields or resting peacefully in the shade of a gnarled tree (apple, not cork), the episode will certainly draw nostalgic adults. Considering the author’s track record and influences, it may find a welcome from younger audiences too. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2009

ISBN: 978-0-399-25248-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2009

ON THE FIRST DAY OF KINDERGARTEN

While this is a fairly bland treatment compared to Deborah Lee Rose and Carey Armstrong-Ellis’ The Twelve Days of...

Rabe follows a young girl through her first 12 days of kindergarten in this book based on the familiar Christmas carol.

The typical firsts of school are here: riding the bus, making friends, sliding on the playground slide, counting, sorting shapes, laughing at lunch, painting, singing, reading, running, jumping rope, and going on a field trip. While the days are given ordinal numbers, the song skips the cardinal numbers in the verses, and the rhythm is sometimes off: “On the second day of kindergarten / I thought it was so cool / making lots of friends / and riding the bus to my school!” The narrator is a white brunette who wears either a tunic or a dress each day, making her pretty easy to differentiate from her classmates, a nice mix in terms of race; two students even sport glasses. The children in the ink, paint, and collage digital spreads show a variety of emotions, but most are happy to be at school, and the surroundings will be familiar to those who have made an orientation visit to their own schools.

While this is a fairly bland treatment compared to Deborah Lee Rose and Carey Armstrong-Ellis’ The Twelve Days of Kindergarten (2003), it basically gets the job done. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: June 21, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-06-234834-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 3, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2016

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