Kirkus Reviews QR Code
BORED! BORED! BORED! by Jill Newton

BORED! BORED! BORED!

By Jill Newton (Author) , Jill Newton (Illustrator)

Age Range: 2 - 6

Pub Date: July 1st, 2002
ISBN: 1-58234-760-3
Publisher: Bloomsbury

British author/illustrator Newton (Where Are My Chicks, 2002, etc.) makes a splash in this tale about fitting in without fitting the mold. “Bored, bored, bored!” says Claude the shark. But his seafaring friends can’t quite believe it. “How can you possibly be bored when there’s so much gardening to do?” they ask. Thickly applied, textured portraits in tropical tones of lemon yellow, plum purple, and seaweed green reflect the underwater activity: first the sea creatures rake, then they prune and plant. Claude reluctantly joins in but abruptly leaves when it’s time to water the flowers. Somehow, he must sense the absurdity: “ ‘No!’ [snaps] Claude. ‘I’m bored and I’m going home.’ ” But for his friends, the blooming garden—with a manicured hedge and a fountain shaped like a fish—is a cause for celebration. Newton’s busy full-bleed portrait pictures the oceanic event. Meanwhile, Claude stays home sulking. That is, until he figures out a way to join in the fun by baking a magnificent cake to give as a gift. “ ‘You made this?’ they ask in admiration. ‘It must have taken ages!’ ‘It was no trouble,’ Claude responds. ‘I enjoyed doing it.’ ” So snack-maker he’ll be while the others garden. Newton’s dry humor will appeal to parents and teachers eager to teach a lesson and squelch a familiar lament; young readers will soak it up like a sponge. (Picture book. 2-6)