Yes, indeed, PPBF is back! And I’m very excited today to be featuring a book that is so new it was only released THREE DAYS AGO! Not only that, but you can read an interview with the illustrator, Debbie Ridpath Ohi, on Joanna Marple’s blog, AND Debbie herself will be doing a guest post on my blog on Monday, September 10th (complete with GIVEAWAY)! Now, to the book, and a perfect picture book it is. EDITED TO ADD: Debbie has just sent some sample spreads to enhance this post. Thank you, Debbie! Note: These are used by permission and are not to be copied. Thanks.

Title: I’m Bored

Author: Michael Ian Black

Illustrator:  Debbie Ridpath Ohi

Publisher: New York: Simon & Schuster, 2012

Genre: Picture book, fiction

Audience Age: 3-8

Themes and topics: Overcoming boredom, imaginative play, imagination, creativity, self-esteem

Opening Sentences: I’m bored. Bored. Blaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah. I’m so BORED!

Synopsis: No one could possibly be as bored as the girl (never named) in this book. No one, that is, except a potato who has to hang out with a kid. Because kids are BORING! Boring? Kids? No way! Kids can do all sorts of things. And especially, kids can IMAGINE stuff. Nope, potato finds all this totally ho-hum. But, along the way, the girl realizes that there are tons of ways to alleviate boredom, even if the potato is snoring. (And the potato gets his comeuppance in the end. No, he doesn’t get turned into fries. Read the book to find out what actually happens. It’s BETTER than fries.)

With few words, the author gets into the mind of a child (and a potato) perfectly. This is a laugh-out-loud book, and an identify-with-thoroughly book.

Debbie’s illustrations are key to the humor of the book. With a few simple lines she captures the total ennui of the child – and the potato. As the child’s imagination soars, the backgrounds show what is happening in her imaginative play, and there are funny details that one catches the second, and third, and fourth time one reads the book. (Yes, it’s a “read this one again” book.) I particularly like the fact that the illustrations give kids ideas for their own imaginative play – a cardboard box on the sofa becomes a pirate ship; toilet paper makes a great streaming veil on the top of a cone-shaped construction-paper Guinevere hat; the tube from inside paper towels is perfect for fighting off dragons. This is the illustrator’s first picture book – I predict great things from Debbie Ridpath Ohi.

Activities/Resources: The illustrations themselves are great springboards to imaginative play, showing all kinds of ways kids could dress up and pretend. Debbie has lots of activities on her website as well. There are facts about potatoes – Did you know that the first food grown in outer space was a potato? Nothing boring about that!   There are potato-related activities – books to read, science related project suggestions, and an illustration of how to make a potato stamp (the stamp-designs-on-things type stamp, not the mail-a-letter type stamp). There are coloring pages and write-your-own-story pages.  And all kinds of other things are available as well on the I’m Bored BONUS PAGE.   You may never be bored again.

Availability: Readily available (hot off the press) in hardcover.

Check out the music video trailer!


Every Friday, bloggers join together to share picture book reviews and resources, thanks to author Susanna Leonard Hill’s brainchild, “Perfect Picture Book Fridays.” Susanna then adds the books (and links to the reviews) to a comprehensive listing by subject on her blog. Find the entire listing at her “Perfect Picture Books.”


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