About the Holiday
Bored? Already?! It’s only the middle of July, but I get it—there’s NOTHING to do! Well, how about learning a new craft? Maybe it’s a nice day for a walk. You could clean your room (No! Wait! What am I thinking?!) How about playing a board game—one you used to like or haven’t played in a while? Or, you could read a book! A trip to the library or bookstore is sure to solve those mid-summer blues!
Barnacle is Bored
By Jonathan Fenske
Even before Barnacle’s story truly begins he’s just hanging around the dock sighing. The trouble is Barnacle is “Bored. Bored. Bored.” Every day is the same old routine. When the tide is high, Barnacle is “wet and cold,” and when it goes out, he’s “dry and hot.” The sun rises; the sun sets. The waves “roll under” him or give him a good dousing of the briny deep, but no matter what’s going on Barnacle is stuck in place.
If only he were like the little polka dotted fish swimming by. Barnacle imagines what exciting days he must have. “I bet he dives with the dolphins” and “soars with the sailfish,” Barnacle muses. He dreams of the fun the fish has with flounder, finbacks, plankton, and…that eel doesn’t look like it wants to play with polka dot fish. Oh, no! Barnacle can’t look.
Yikes! Barnacle grimaces as eel swims away, full and satisfied. He retreats into his shell to reconsider and decides, “I am not bored.” But polka dot fish floating around inside eel? Yeah, he’s bored.
Jonathan Fenske takes the proverbial (shell)fish story to new, minimalistic lengths in his laugh-out-loud Barnacle is Bored. Fenske’s use of repetitive phrasing and funny alliteration highlights Barnacle’s tedium as well as his conviction that the sea is greener on the other side of the dock. When reality comes calling close to home, though, Barnacle—and young readers—discover that sometimes excitement isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
Fenske’s jaded Barnacle is an adorable dreamer even as he grumbles about his sticky situation. His expressive eyes and tiny tentacles that sway with the tides will make little ones giggle. With a soothing palette of ocean colors, Fenske creates fresh, crisp backdrops that emphasize both Barnacle’s feelings of monotony and his vivid imagination.
Barnacle is Bored is a perfect summertime treat that will elicit waves of requests for repeat readings. A great choice to take to the beach and on vacation, the book will not spend its time stuck on the shelf.
Ages 3 – 5
Scholastic Press, 2016 | ISBN 978-0545865043
Discover a gallery of books and illustration by Jonathan Fenske on his website!
Anti-Boredom Month Activity
Mesmerizing Mindfulness Jar
You can capture the beauty of the glittering sea in this easy craft. Make one for yourself and for a special friend!
- Small to medium mason jar or other decorative jar with a tight lid
- White glitter glue,
- Light blue glitter glue,
- Fine white and/or blue glitter
- Large white and/or blue glitter
- Warm water
1.For every 1/2 cup of warm water add:
- 1 1/2 teaspoons white glitter glue
- 1/2 teaspoon blue glitter glue
- 2 teaspoons fine glitter glue
- 1/2 teaspoon large glitter
2. Close lid tightly
4. As glue dissolves, the liquid will become clearer and the glitter will remain suspended in it
Picture Book Review