Actor Tatum’s effervescent heroine steals a friend’s toy and then lies about it.
Thrilled about an upcoming play date with new classmate Wyatt, Sparkella considers her own sparkly stuffies, games, and accessories and silently decides that he’d be more interested in her friend Tam’s remote-controlled minicar. While she and Tam are playing together, Sparkella takes the car when Tam isn’t looking. Tam melts down at school the next day, and Sparkella, seeing her “bestest friend” losing her sparkle, feels “icky, oogy, and blech.” And when Wyatt comes over, he turns out to be far more entranced by glittery goods than some old car. When Sparkella yells at him—“WYATT, YOU HAVE TO PLAY WITH THIS CAR RIGHT NOW!”—her dad overhears and asks where the toy came from…and along with being a thief, Sparkella turns out to be the worst. Liar. Ever. She eventually confesses (her dad forgives her), apologizes (ditto Wyatt and even Tam), and goes on to take part in a three-way play date/sparklefest. Her absolution may come with unlikely ease, but it’s comfortingly reassuring, and her model single dad does lay down a solid parental foundation by allowing that everyone makes mistakes and stressing that she is “never going to be punished for telling the truth in this house.” He and Sparkella present White, a previous entry cued brown-skinned Tam as Asian, and Wyatt has brown skin in Barnes’ candy-hued pictures. (This book was reviewed digitally.)
An awesome-tastic invitation to have or share thoughts about bad and better choices.(Picture book. 6-8)