cover image I’m Bored

I’m Bored

Michael Ian Black, illus. by Debbie Ridpath Ohi. Simon & Schuster, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4424-1403-7

It looks to be the ultimate ennui smackdown: a bored-out-of-her-gourd kid vs. an equally jaded potato. Then the potato accuses the girl of being the source of its boredom. “What are you talking about?” demands the feisty pigtailed human. “Kids are fun!” “Prove it,” says the potato. And almost as fast as you can say “reverse psychology,” the girl shows that she is in fact a wellspring of fun: playing games, doing “ninja kicks” and other acrobatics, turning ordinary objects into fantastic props (an overturned laundry basket becomes a snow-capped mountain in her imagination), and engaging in pretend play that encompasses everything from being a ballerina to... a potato. “Boring,” responds the potato each time, before the girl storms off. But not to worry: what goes around comes around. Black (A Pig Parade Is a Terrible Idea) keeps this simple concept funny all the way through its final, LOL zinger. Debut illustrator Ohi’s minimalist, scraggly digital drawings are anything but boring, and speak volumes about irritation, desperation, and disdain. Ages 3–8. Agent: Barry Goldblatt, Barry Goldblatt Literary. Illustrator’s agent: Ginger Knowlton, Curtis Brown. (Aug.)