Sparky by Jenny Offill Book Review

Sparky by Jenny Offill
Illustrations by Chris Appelhans
Publisher: Schwartz & Wade
Release Date: March 11, 2014

A young girl wants a pet, but her mother has declared that, “You can have any pet you want as long as it doesn’t need to be walked or bathed or fed.” This is difficult, but our heroine is able to find one pet who meets her mother's requirements--a sloth. She names him Sparky. The problem with having a pet sloth though is that it doesn't really do much or anything. 

Confession: I think sloths are adorable, especially the baby ones. There is something completely endearing about these slow mammals and I could not blame anyone for wanting one. I love the whimsy of a story where a child can get a mail order sloth. (real children may be upset to learn this is not a thing. I checked) The story is cute and simple, with a pet that is both adorable and frustratingly boring. I think there are parents out there who can also relate to the fact that their children are begging for a pet and the parent simply does not want to deal with a needy animal. The illustrations were cute as well, adding the right tone and white space to the story. This isn't a light and fluffy animal book, but it was this aspect that made it different from a lot of other "child wants a pet" books. Besides, what was the last book you read that featured a sloth?

Just in case that you aren't convinced that sloths are cute: