Bound To Stay Bound

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Full Text Reviews:

School Library Journal - 02/01/2016 K-Gr 2—This playful book addresses the universal problem of feeling bored while everyone else appears to be having a great time. Barnacle is attached to the bottom of a dock. Life is an endless, repetitive cycle of tides, waves, sun, and darkness. Barnacle envies the exciting life of a passing fish. "Look at this guy. The little polka-dotted show-off. I bet his days are so FUN." Barnacle alliteratively imagines the fish diving with dolphins, soaring with sailfish, and flipping with flounder. But Barnacle isn't the only one eyeing the little fish. As he cavorts, a smirking eel creeps further into view before swallowing the fish whole. Barnacle comically cringes and then grins at readers and announces, "I am not bored." The final page reveals a cutaway into the eel's stomach, where the yellow fish declares, "I am BORED." Barnacle's round eyes and expressive eyebrows create endearing and silly expressions. High-contrast speech bubbles contain one sentence per page. VERDICT A light and accessible read.—Amelia Jenkins, Juneau Public Library, AK - Copyright 2016 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

Booklist - 05/01/2016 What better protagonist could there be to illustrate boredom than a sedentary barnacle? In a series of comic illustrations showing the barnacle’s conelike head attached to a wooden dock, the grumpy narrator recounts the unvarying dullness of his life. With a crabby expression, he recounts how the tide comes in, the tide goes out; the sun comes up, the sun comes down; and yet he remains, stuck. One day, a flamboyantly colored fish swims into view (“The little polka-dotted show-off”), and the envious barnacle starts to imagine all the freedom and fun the fancy fish must have—until a moray eel swallows the fish whole. Suddenly life doesn’t seem so boring. The sparseness of the setting—rendered in blues, browns, and white—induces sympathy for the barnacle, while guest appearances by a sailfish, a finback whale, dolphins, a flounder, and an undulating eel add momentary pops of color. This tale where “the seaweed is always greener” is an entertaining antidote to boredom. - Copyright 2016 Booklist.

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