Wednesday, 19 November 2014



Written by Jenny Offill, Illustrated by Chris Appelhans
Published by Orion Children's Books

As a parent, have you ever dreaded the words; ‘I want a pet!’? If that time hasn't come yet (and it will) be very careful what you agree to... 

Sparky! is about a little girl desperate for a pet, any pet will do, but her mum says; 'No, no, no!' However, after a month of asking every day (and constantly without fail), her mother finally says; 'You can have any pet you want as long as it doesn’t need to be walked or bathed or fed'. So it’s off to the library where the little girl finds the one animal that can meet her mum’s request. What’s the one animal that sleeps for days at a time, hardly moves and will eat the leaves out in the garden? Why a Sloth of course, the laziest, sleepiest animal in the world. 

Meet Sparky, the girl’s new pet sloth. He likes to sleep a lot and is not very good at playing games (except maybe Statues). But soon after Sparky arrives, the little girl’s friend, Mary Potts, comes over to investigate. She isn’t impressed with Sparky at all, as her cat can dance and her parrot knows at least twenty words! The little girl decides to prove that Sparky can do tricks, and organises a Trained Sloth Extravaganza! However it doesn’t work out quite that way. On the day of the reveal, the only trick that Sparky is any good at is playing dead, as he doesn’t like to move! Though Sparky may not know any tricks, the little girl still loves him to bits.

The book is illustrated by uber talented Chris Appelhans, who has worked across animated feature films such as Coraline, Fantastic Mr Fox and The Princess and the Frog. His illustrations for Sparky! bring a sleepy, dreamy feel to Jenny's words, making this a book that's perfect for bed time (be like Sparky and sleep like a sloth!).

Sparky is very cute and children will be wanting sloths for pets! (you have been warned!). Sparky! is out now in all good bookshops and available to buy on the Orion Childrens website.

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