I love sloths as much as the next person…well maybe not as much as Kristen Bell.
But I do love sloths a lot, which means I will check out any picture book that features a sloth. I lucked up on Sparky by Jenny Offill and illustrated by Chris Appelhans while searching for holds the other day. This new picture book centers on a young girl who wants a pet. Her mother turns down every suggestion, but finally agrees only if she finds a pet that doesn’t have to be walked or bathed or fed. Guess what fits that description? After a quick trip to her school library, which features a librarian that knows everything, the girl soon finds a pet that her mother cannot say no to.
After receiving her new pet, the girl discovers that a sloth isn’t a typical pet. It doesn’t fetch, roll over, speak, or perform other tricks that most pets do. In this sweet tale, the young girl must learn to accept her new friend for exactly what he is.
Chris Appelhans, who hopefully you have heard of as an illustrator, did an amazing job. This book is currently in the lead for the 2015 Mock Caldecott list on Goodreads and there is a reason why. The images have a magical feel that will make you fall in love with this story. Oh, and there is a sloth!