I’M BORED — Perfect Picture Book Friday returns!

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.”


54 thoughts on “I’M BORED — Perfect Picture Book Friday returns!”

  1. aaargh, because of my nomadic lifestyle at the moment I have yet to put my greedy paws on this book. I am so happy for all the publicity it is getting. This is a cool review, Beth, and I am so following Debbie around some blogs in the hope of winning my own copy (for when I have somewhere to live!).

  2. Well, if potato didn’t get turned into fries at the end, I’ll have to check this book out to see what its comeuppance was 🙂

    Great choice for PPBF, Beth.

  3. I have been following Debbie too on Twitter and so love hearing about this book. I love her illustration style, need to get myself to a bookstore to check this wonderful book out. Looking forward to Monday now!

  4. This is one of THOSE books that I’ve been so eager to get my hands on. Thansk for the review and the great sneak peek! I have already handed a potato to my bored 9 yr old and told her to start talking. 😉

  5. No surprise as to the the first selection on PPBF being from you Beth! Having used your teeth to open the package delivered directly to your house (nice idea to fool us with the photo of the scissors), the moment it was released, well…!!! lol. And I am not surprised that the potato was the first food grown in outer space: it was also the first plant I grew in a dark cupboard, which, when closed, looked just like outer space minus the growing-stars! So great to be back curiously hunting perfect PB reviews on Fridays!

    1. Heehee — now I’m going to look back on Beth’s post about those scissors and imagine her tearing open the package with her teeth, too! 😀

      And I’m pretty honored to be chosen as a PPBF by Beth.

  6. This looks hysterical. Although I’ll have to enjoy it myself (without my kids!) My 3 & 2 year old have not discovered the meaning of the word ‘bored’ yet, and I’d like to keep it that way for the time being!

  7. How tantalizing to have a peek inside this book! Now I want it even more! Debbie’s art is delightful and charming and humorous, and the whole concept of the book sounds like such fun! Thanks for sharing this hot off the presses book for our first day back, Beth! 🙂

  8. I think that’s one of the best set of activity pages I’ve seen for a picture book-well done! The potato gets me and I will be buying this book, it’s at the top of my list. Thanks for sharing it, Beth, and I look forward to reading the interview.

  9. I can’t wait to buy my copy too! I’m stuck in the house studying. My lit sessions start soon and I plan on sharing this! Great review, Beth! Much Success, Debbie!

  10. Love the book cover and pics, love the trailer and I love potatoes anyway they come. (funny, I mentioned a website for kids making potato stamp wrapping paper on my blog..lol).

  11. This book looks like so much fun! I love the expressions of the little girl and the potato. What a fun and unique way to inspire a child’s imagination!

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  13. So wonderful to get up close and personal with this book and with Debbie (in today’s guest post) ! Thanks for this, Beth! Been following Debbie’s tweets too for a while and the entire build-up to the release of this book. So it’s great to read about it here. Looks like such a fun book:-)

  14. Beth…what a wonderful choice for the first PPBF of the new season! How many times did I hear my kids say, “I’m bored”? Actually, not too many because they knew my answer would be that I would give them something to do…like folding laundry or sweeping the floor. 🙂 The book will definitely be a hit with kids AND adults…and the illustrations are INCREDIBLE!

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