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JOE AND SPARKY GET NEW WHEELS by Jamie Michalak Kirkus Star


by Jamie Michalak & illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz

Age Range: 5 - 8

Pub Date: March 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-7636-3387-5
Publisher: Candlewick

Joe and Sparky are unlikely buddies—turtle Sparky enjoys the safety of his shell while giraffe Joe is up for any adventure. Joe, convinced that he has won a contest, decides to take the prize, a bright yellow sports car, for a spin. Sparky is not so sure about this, but agrees to the road trip only if it is a very slow and short one. Four chapters tell the story of these two pals out for an adventure at the mall, at a drive-in burger joint and back home at Safari Land, where they appreciate their pond, the warm rock, the watering hole and even Wiggy, Joe’s pet worm. New readers ready for the challenge of more words per page will appreciate the humor of the story and illustrations. Children familiar with the Froggy books will recognize Remkiewicz’s distinctively funny style and will laugh out loud at the innocent assumptions Joe (who sports a Carmen Miranda–like fruit hat) and Sparky make as they explore the world outside Sparky’s shell. Utterly charming. (Early reader. 5-8)