The Boring Book

Shinsuke Yoshitake. Chronicle, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4521-7456-3
Japanese author and illustrator Yoshitake (Still Stuck) zeroes in on a ubiquitous childhood experience and probes it with dry wit. The creator’s human figures draw smiles from the get-go as a boy sprawls on the couch, dead bored: “My toys are boring. There’s nothing to watch on TV.” His mind wanders: “Why am I bored? What does ‘boring’ mean, anyway?” In vignettes and multistage spreads, the boy considers the many permutations of ennui. “I wonder what the world’s most boring amusement part is like,” the boy says, as Yoshitake shows children in an advanced state of stupor shuffling through a park (“The Ferris wheel is low. The roller coaster is slow. Most of the rides are closed for repairs”). Is everything either fun or boring, or is there something in between, “like when I’m peeling a hard-boiled egg”? Just don’t ask the adults about being bored. Their replies are... dull. The uncredited translation conveys the book’s humor, though the warm, handwritten text of the original is swapped out for chilly printed type. Alive to paradox, Yoshitake demonstrates that talking about what’s boring can be a lot of fun. Ages 4–8. (Aug.)
Reviewed on : 05/09/2019
Release date: 08/01/2019
Genre: Children's
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