Perfect Picture Book Friday – Sparky

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, Everyone!

It’s been a couple weeks!

What with the March Madness Writing Contest and all the long posts for the finalists and the winners, etc., I think we could all use a break. Β So today I’m going to do my best to be brief πŸ™‚

I hope you all enjoy this picture book as much as I do πŸ™‚

Title: Sparky
Written By: Jenny Offill
Illustrated By: Chris Appelhans
Schwartz & Wade Books, March 2014, Fiction

Suitable For Ages: age 3-8

Themes/Topics: pets, being yourself

Opening: “I wanted a pet. A bird or a bunny or a trained seal. Β My mother said no to the bird. Β No to the bunny. No no no to the trained seal.

Brief Synopsis: A little girl’s mother says she can have any pet she wants as long as it doesn’t need to be walked or bathed or fed. Β So the little girl finds just the pet to fit the requirements… A sloth… whom she names Sparky πŸ™‚

Here the girl plays with Sparky and introduces us to Mary Potts

Links To Resources: Talk about what makes a good pet; discuss the pros and cons of various pets,Β 10 Popular Small Pets, Best Pets For Kids slideshow, Rainforest Classroom Activities, read with “Slowly, slowly, slowly,” said the Sloth by Eric Carle, or perhaps with other picture books about more boisterous pets for comparison.

Why I Like This Book: I love Sparky. Β He’s so cute! Β And so sleepy and slow πŸ™‚ Β And I admire any child who can come up with a pet that doesn’t break the rules of not needing to be walked or bathed or fed. Β The girl tries to play games with Sparky, but with the exception of Statues he’s not much good at them. Β In response to annoying Mary Potts from across the street she tries to teach him tricks to show what a good pet he is. Β But aside from excelling at playing dead he’s not much good at that either. Β But you know what? She doesn’t care. Β For her, Sparky is “it” πŸ™‚ Β And what a nice message that pets can just be loved for who they are.

For the complete list of books with resources, please visitΒ Perfect Picture Books.

How’d I do? Β Brief enough? πŸ™‚

PPBF bloggers, please leave your post-specific link in the list below so we can all come see what you picked and make our library lists for the weekend πŸ™‚

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone! πŸ™‚

47 thoughts on “Perfect Picture Book Friday – Sparky

  1. patientdreamer says:

    so happy this is back. Loved your choice Susanna. Love the cute illustrations.although I had never heard of a sloth before. Not until now and googled it. Good grief, that is one particular animal, I wonder that she knows they could possible grow as big as elephants! lol

  2. Wendy Greenley says:

    This book is adorable! And the message applies to loving people for what (who) they are, too. Great choice. I love perfect picture book Friday!

  3. Carrie Finison says:

    I read this recently and it is adorable! i love the extremely subtle changes of expression on Sparky's face. πŸ™‚

  4. rhythm says:

    Sparky looks like an excellent pet and an excellent book! Sometimes I feel like Sparky! Playing dead is a good trick!

  5. This_Kid_Reviews_Books_Erik says:

    This looks so cute! The cover just makes you laugh – Sparky Ha Ha Ha! I love sloths! πŸ˜€

  6. Patricia Tilton says:

    What a great message for kids. Her pet is the most unique of all and she's filled with pride. Love it. Adorable!

  7. Stacy S. Jensen says:

    I am waiting for Sparky! on a inter-library loan. I'm curious as some reviews tend to say it's depressing. I wonder if it's just based on the idea that this pet is “different.” I was able to Ms. Offill's new novel Dept. of Speculation. It's a little depressing and disorienting and brilliant at the same time. I still have a few chapters left.

  8. Vivian Kirkfield says:

    Love the story concept, Susanna…this looks like a fun book…the illustrations are great!
    It looks like Carrie and I both reviewed Laura Purdie Salas' new book, Water Can Be. πŸ™‚ So now everyone will know they have to get a copy.:) πŸ™‚

  9. Joanna Marple says:

    I have seen several reviews of SPARKY around and I so want to read this book now. I love the front cover, it makes me want to adopt him too.

  10. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    That is interesting! I don't find it depressing at all! True, Sparky doesn't behave in quite the way that other pets do, but she loves him for who he is. At the end, she gives him a cookie, and he is so slow to eat it that she takes it back πŸ™‚ Can't share a cookie like that with many other pets πŸ™‚

  11. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    I'm so glad you enjoyed it, Julie! And I know you've already had a portfolio critique from Michael (at least I think you have) but I hope hope hope you'll join the illustration contest – your art is always SO wonderful! πŸ™‚

  12. Genevieve says:

    I read Sparky last week. Adorable. I mean, what pet is 100% perfect anyway? *shhhh. Don't tell Cupcake I said that!*

  13. Beth Stilborn says:

    Yay! For the first time in what seems like eons, I've managed to get to all the PPBF posts today — and what great books they showcase. Sparky sounds delightful. But really? Do you not need to feed a sloth?

  14. Emily Lim says:

    How clever that the MC found herself a pet within her mum's rules! I like the message about acceptance too πŸ™‚

  15. Amy @ Sunlit Pages says:

    I saw this book at the bookstore last week and then tried to put it on hold at the library, but they don't have it yet. 😦 It looks so cute though.

  16. Mike Allegra says:

    I stumbled upon this one in B&N a few weeks ago and It truly lives up to the label “Perfect Picture Book.”

    It is one of the sweetest, wittiest, and most charming PBs I have read in a good long while.

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