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I'M BORED by Michael Ian Black


From the I'm Books series

by Michael Ian Black & illustrated by Debbie Ridpath Ohi

Age Range: 3 - 5

Pub Date: Sept. 18th, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-4424-1403-7
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

A kid and a tuber dispute what is and isn’t boring, to no particular avail.

The beginning’s fun. A scowling, cartoon-style girl with a large head and sideways pigtails flops from one dramatic posture to another, complaining, “I’m bored. / Bored. Blaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah. / I’m so BORED!” White space surrounds her. From nowhere, a potato appears. This girl must really live in white-space-land, because she’s initially thrilled: “Hey! A potato!” Then she rejects it and tosses it upwards. It falls, bonks her on the head and sits on the ground. “I’m bored,” announces the suddenly anthropomorphic potato in one of two genuinely funny moments. Previously unable to entertain herself, the girl labors to prove she’s interesting. She demonstrates cartwheels, ninja kicks and imagination games—lion taming; dragons and swords; forcing the potato to walk a pirate-ship plank—all of which Ohi sketches in pale blue. The surly potato stubbornly remains bored. Their argument ends without satisfaction or vindication; the girl yells, mouth wide and black like in Peanuts, and departs in frustration. There’s one more funny moment—not the appearance of a random flamingo (flamingos being, inexplicably, the potato’s only interest in life), but the flamingo’s closing complaint. Yep: “I’m bored.” Turnabout’s fair play, but the whole piece feels like a smarmy lesson about how annoying it is when someone insists on boredom.

Ironically, boring. (Picture book. 3-5)