Sparky the sloth can play dead! He can also do countless other tricks! Like play dead! And sleep! With lovely, quirky illustrations, Sparky! is a sweet, quiet, funny story about coming to love someone even when they don't turn out to be who you expected. Recommended By Gigi L., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
The ingenious author of 17 Things I'm Not Allowed to Do Anymore and a brilliant illustrator and production designer of the Coraline movie have created a hilarious, touching picture book perfect for young animal lovers. Like the Caldecott Medal-winning Officer Buckle and Gloria, Sparky stars a pet who has more to offer than meets the eye. When our narrator orders a sloth through the mail, the creature that arrives isn't good at tricks or hide-and-seek... or much of anything. Still, there's something about Sparky that is irresistible.
"Depending on one's feelings about exotic pets, Offill's (17 Things I'm Not Allowed to Do Anymore) sloth story is either hilariously hip or burdened with pathos. At the outset, a mother tells her daughter, 'You can have any pet you want as long as it doesn't need to be walked or bathed or fed.' Within these parameters, the girl acquires a sloth, dubbed Sparky. She tries to coax her low-maintenance pet to do tricks, but complains, 'Sometimes he took so long to fetch that I went inside and had dinner while I waited.' Appelhans, an animation illustrator, debuts with watercolors in driftwood brown, teal, and red; readers will detect Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen's influence in the palette and in Sparky's repetitive poses, dangling his arms from a branch or slouching upright. Offill and Appelhans's glum story recalls the absurdism of J. Otto Seibold's recent Lost Sloth. By book's end, both girl and sloth are just about as lonely and miserable as ever, but at least they're lonely together. Ages 4 8. Author's agent: Sally Wofford-Girand, Union Literary. (Mar.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Jenny Offill is the author of 17 Things I’m Not Allowed to Do Anymore,
Magazine Best Book of the Year and a Bank Street College of Education Best Children’s Book of the Year, and 11 Experiments That Failed,
also a Bank Street College of Education Best Children’s Book of the Year, which Kirkus Reviews,
in a starred review, called “the most joyful and clever whimsy.”
Chris Appelhans has worked on several films. He was an illustrator and production designer for Coraline, an environment designer Fantastic Mr. Fox, and a visual development artist for The Princess and the Frog. This is his first picture book.