Monday, June 9, 2014
“You can have any pet you want as long as it doesn’t need to be walked or bathed or fed," the little girl's mother said after listening to relentless begging for a pet. The little girl did what any would-be pet owner might do...she set off for the library to find a book of animals to see which pet might fall into that category. "A promise is a promise." And the little girl gets her pet. A sloth! She receives her sloth, which she promptly names Sparky, via expedited mail, and with the cheery zeal of any new pet owner, she begins to teach him tricks and try to play with him. Very slowly, of course. The little girl doesn't seem to care that a pet sloth isn't quite like other pets. He's the perfect pet for her.
Neither overly wordy nor a fast-paced tale, Jenny Offill's text perfectly narrates the story of a slow-moving sloth. Despite the measured pace, Offill offers a heroine with a sweet demeanor and hopeful disposition that you can't help but root for. Chris Appelhans' illustrations of Sparky capture every bit of the adorable features of a sloth. I want to hug him and squeeze him and take him home with me too. The watercolor backgrounds in muted shades provide the perfect subdued setting for Sparky. There are plenty of adorable pet ownership picture books in the world, but an unusual animal with charming illustrations pushes Sparky into a league of his own.
You can find Sparky in the Picture Books - Books with Strong Females section of The Book Children Store.