Sparky! (Jenny Offill & Chris Appelhans)

Summer Reading Day 89: Happy Friday, everyone! Our book today was Sparky! by Jenny Offill and Chris Appelhans, a book about a little girl and her pet sloth.

A little girl asks her mother for a pet, and the mother agrees, as long as the girl can find a pet who doesn’t need to be walked, bathed or fed. But the persistent girl does her research, and finds a pet that fits the bill: a sloth. She orders one and names him Sparky, but quickly finds that Sparky doesn’t really do tricks or play like other pets do; in fact, he doesn’t do much of anything at all. Can the little girl accept her new friend for who he is?

Honestly, this book is a bit different. On the plus side, the text is very funny and entertaining to read, and the illustrations are adorable and full of life. You will absolutely fall for the fuzzy, floppy sloth named Sparky. However, the book has a bit of a melancholy tone, and it felt a little strange for a picture book. In the end, I’m glad that the little girl can see that Sparky is a sloth and will never really be like other pets, but she definitely seems disappointed by this. 

However, based on our regular criteria, this was a fine book. JJ LOVED the wonderful illustrations and text, so much so that she sat happily through a book that might have otherwise been a bit long for a one-year-old. And if JJ likes it, I’m sold. Baby Bookworm approved!


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