by Jenny Offill
illustrated by Chris Appelhans
Publisher: Schwartz & Wade
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
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.
(synopsis from Goodreads)
This is a fun -- and funny -- book about a girl who really wants a pet. Her mom agrees... but with certain conditions. So the girl orders herself a sloth... by mail!
Setting aside the obvious logistical problems, it's quite a cute story. I wasn't sure if I liked the illustrations with their limited colour palette when I started reading, but they grew on me. And the ending had me giggling out loud. It's a clever book, and will appeal to kids who like animals... as well as their parents.
My sloth arrived by Express Mail.
He was about the size of a mediumish dog, with a flat nose and a monkey face.
My mother wasn't happy, but a promise is a promise, I said.
Recommended to: animal lovers; readers who appreciate picture books that don't talk down to kids
Overall: 4.5 out of 5