April 4, 2014

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.  So today I'm going to do my best to be brief :)

I hope you all enjoy this picture book as much as I do :)

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.  My mother said no to the bird.  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.  So the little girl finds just the pet to fit the requirements... A sloth... whom she names Sparky :)

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, 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.  He's so cute!  And so sleepy and slow :)  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.  The girl tries to play games with Sparky, but with the exception of Statues he's not much good at them.  In response to annoying Mary Potts from across the street she tries to teach him tricks to show what a good pet he is.  But aside from excelling at playing dead he's not much good at that either.  But you know what? She doesn't care.  For her, Sparky is "it" :)  And what a nice message that pets can just be loved for who they are.

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

How'd I do?  Brief enough? :)

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 :)

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone! :)


Reactions:

47 comments:

  1. 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

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  2. 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!

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  3. I read this recently and it is adorable! i love the extremely subtle changes of expression on Sparky's face. :-)

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

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  5. Oooh. Sparky is so cute! It's pinned to my want list. Now close your eyes and listed to the music in your head, "You deserve a break today . . . "

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  6. This_Kid_Reviews_Books_ErikApril 4, 2014 at 7:38 AM

    This looks so cute! The cover just makes you laugh - Sparky Ha Ha Ha! I love sloths! :D

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

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  8. Brief and beautiful. I love it! Thank you for finding this one and sharing it with us.

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  9. SPARKY is a great book! Glad it is getting PPBF love...

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  10. I am really looking forward to reading Sparky! And want to thank you again for putting together the MM contest. You always manage to rouse me from my Sparky style writing ruts!

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  11. 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.

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  12. This sounds adorable. I can't wait to read it. Thanks for telling me about it.

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  13. I LOVE a sloth as a main character! What a great idea. So creative. Thanks for sharing Susanna!

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  14. 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. :) So now everyone will know they have to get a copy.:) :)

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  15. Jilanne HoffmannApril 4, 2014 at 2:11 PM

    Hilarious! Maybe we should get a sloth for our son, too. :D

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  16. 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.

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  17. Yikes! That IS a conundrum. What does one do with guinea pigs who need a home? Good luck!

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  18. I KNEW at least one other person would do that today, which is why I didn't pick it :) But yes - everyone should have a copy :)

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  19. Three that I can think of off the top of my head, but this one is awfully cute :)

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  20. Glad you like it, Erika! It's a very cute book :)

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  21. Thanks Clar! Hope the memoir is going well!

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  22. You're welcome, Rosi - I hope you like it :)

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  23. 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 :) Can't share a cookie like that with many other pets :)

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  24. 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! :)

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  25. You're welcome, Barbara! I hope you get a chance to read it :)

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  26. It's really very sweet, Pat :) I love the optimism she shows in naming him Sparky :)

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  27. ". . . so get up and get away . . ." :)

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  28. It works for Sparky :) And he gets a cookie :)

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  29. I know - aren't they just wonderful Carrie? This book just has cute all over it :)

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  30. Thanks, Wendy! I'm glad you love the book and PPBF :)

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  31. Gosh! I've never heard that, Diane! They are cute, though, and slow :)

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

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  33. I think you answered your own question, Genevieve... Cupcake is perfect :)

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  34. 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?

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  35. I believe the argument would be that he feeds himself - living out in a tree and all. But technically she does give him a cookie :)

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  36. How clever that the MC found herself a pet within her mum's rules! I like the message about acceptance too :)

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  37. You were brilliantly brief, Susanna! Brava! ;)
    Any book with a sloth in it is bound to be good. It's an indisputable universal law! Hah!

    Have a wonderful weekend!

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  38. Why thank you :) I like to be brilliant at anything! Have a great weekend too :)

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  39. She was pretty clever :) And the story is so funny and cute :)

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  40. Amy @ Sunlit PagesApril 5, 2014 at 10:56 AM

    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.

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  41. it is - very! I'd loan you mine, but it's on my Kindle!

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  42. 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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  43. I'm glad you like it too and I'm not the only one who feels it should qualify for PPBF! :)

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