17: I’m Bored

I'm BoredI’m Bored by Michael Ian Black

illustrated by Debbie Ridpath Ohi

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

View all my reviews

Purchased at Chapters on Robson. I didn’t see it on the shelf at first, but I checked the computer and it said there was one (one? eep!) left. I headed back to the shelf and a-ha! The reason I’d missed it was because the spine is yellow. I’d been looking for blue. I grabbed it and vamoosed before anyone else could lay claim 😉

Ok, so I didn’t buy this for me. I got it for my younger niece for her birthday. I read it before I wrapped it up. And now you know my picture book secret.

Anyhow, she’s turning six and she learned to read this year, so I’m glad this came out this year as I couldn’t get away with a picture book next year (which makes me sad! no more picture books 😦 maybe I’ll have to buy them for myself ;)). She’ll breeze through the text, but I got it for the illustrations.

Full disclosure: I’ve been following Debbie’s various blogs since forever and she’s good friends with Erin.

The truth is, I buy most picture books based on the illustrations. I love picture book art. And it’s the illustrations that make I’m Bored special. There’s one image in the mid-story montage of a sofa-ship that totally reminded me of the couch forts my brother and I used to make. The bored little girl is perfect for the story and the potato is so expressive. How did she do that? It’s a blob and a couple lines!

That said, the story seems simple, but it’s got some great elements. I love the flamingo twist (how could I not?) and I think the book really gets that “I’m so bored” tone/mood just right.

I wonder how many people remember that feeling. It’s hard to be truly bored as an adult. (Nearly impossible if you’re a writer because everything’s material. Maybe if you were stuck in a cave or something. It’s still material, but after a while, enough already.) Sure people will say they’re bored, but as an adult, you’re in control, you can always do something.

As a kid, you’re limited in your options. If you’ve run out of books to read, you can’t just head out to buy/borrow more books—you have to get permission, wait for your parents to have time in their schedules, etc. So you have to work within your constraints. You could re-read something or you could use your imagination and make up your own story…!

I waffled a bit over whether to give this four or five stars (I reserve five stars for books that changed my life). I think if I’d just picked it up off the shelf, I would’ve given it four. But because I can’t detach it from the backstory and all I’ve learned watching I’m Bored go from story to finished product, not to mention all the extras associated with it, I couldn’t not give it five. Debbie has gone above and beyond in creating bonus material. I mean, seriously, just go and look. Plus, she’ll write back to kids who write to her. She is awesome.

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  1. Pingback: 21: This I Know « The Remainder Table

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