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Sparky! - Jenny Offill ""Sparky is a sloth. A pet sloth. And sloths don't know how to fetch. Or roll over. But they sure know how to play dead. What's an eager pet owner to do?""

An endearing girl wants a pet. So she asks the school librarian (who knows everything) for help doing research, and then orders a sloth by Express Mail. She named him Sparky, and he didn't wake up for 2 whole days. Sparky sleeps, and blinks owlishly, and watches his owner, and that's about it! The girl must come to accept that Sparky isn't going to perform on command, or do tricks, or wow her friends. She still loves Sparky very much, and accepts his slothful nature with compassion.

The illustrations are lovely. Watercolor washes of blues and browns dominate the color palette, with occasional splashes of red and green. The text is surrounded by a lot of white space, which is very good for showing off the detailed and unique illustrations. The font is quite interesting in itself, and added to the quirky nature of the entire book.

SPARKY! is an absolutely adorable story about a little girl and her pet sloth. Children will enjoy this picture book as a read-aloud or to read themselves. The sloth is endearing and comical. The girl is realistic and fun; she has quirky ideas, makes mistakes and learns from them. Sparky is one of the cutest pets I've ever seen! Your kids will definitely want their own pet sloth after reading this - or at least a plush sloth!

This heart-warming story about a girl and her sloth-friend is a great addition to the world of children's literature.