Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Sparky! Will Put a Twinkle in Your Eye

Oh, I am hoping my picture book jinx is lifting.  This is the second picture book in a row I have fallen in love with.  I don't want to get cocky and call the drought over, but....

This is one of the first books I have read that made me think Caldecott award.  It just has that lovely mix of sentimentality and humor, with understated but striking watercolor and pencil illustrations that says award winner to me.  We shall see ....

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Title:       Sparky!

Author:  Jenny Offill

Target:   Preschool - ?

What this book is about: 
Our narrator wants a pet, but in the fine tradition of mother’s everywhere, her mother says she can have one “as long as it doesn’t need to be walked or bathed or fed.”  Not one to be dissuaded, our narrator discovers the mighty Sloth!  She names him Sparky (she has high hopes) and tries quite unsuccessfully to teach him countless tricks (perhaps countless was a bit ambitious.)  While Sparky may not live up to his name, he does what all pets should do - inspire love.

Why I love this book:  
Oh, let me count the ways!  This is one of my first Caldecott contenders of the year.  It has humor, stunning illustrations and it pulls at your heartstrings in the sweetest  most un-sappy way - because you know I hate the sappy books.  

So often the most humorous books are not the ones that can touch you in a sentimental way.  This book crosses the divide.  It made me laugh while subtle lessons about perseverance, acceptance and responsibility abound.  The graphics are whimsical watercolors that complement, but do not betray, the humor of the text.

Who this book is for: 

Final thoughts: 
I think every kid will want a sloth after this book.  Be prepared for the begging!

To purchase this book:
Click on the following link to connect to Amazon: Sparky!  A portion of each purchase goes to support this blog at no cost to you.  Thank you for your support.

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