I love this new picture book about a little girl and her pet sloth. Her mom says she can have a pet if it doesn’t need to be walked, bathed, or fed. So she does her research and orders Sparky, who arrives express mail with his arms and legs sticking out of a box.

Written by Jenny Offill and illustrated by Chris Appelhans, Sparky! is full of spunk and childhood. It reminded me of putting on plays in the yard when I was little–with lemonade stands and magic shows. It reminded me of grade school rivals, and having your pet as your very best friend. The magic shows and playground politics may be gone, but your pet sitting quietly beside you to watch the sunset is as sweet now as an adult as it ever was.

Sparky                   Sparky 2