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JOE AND SPARKY, SUPERSTARS! by Jamie Michalak Kirkus Star


From the Joe and Sparky series

by Jamie Michalak and illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz

Age Range: 5 - 8

Pub Date: March 22nd, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-7636-4578-6
Publisher: Candlewick

Joe the Giraffe is always ready for a new adventure, especially if he can convince his subdued turtle-buddy Sparky to join him. While on a walk, the friends look into a house and spot some new small people in a box—actually a TV game-show host looking for new talent for his dance competition. Joe sets out to find Sparky’s talent. Though Sparky is a good sport—trying to dance the Hokey Pokey, cracking knock-knock jokes, racing and balancing—he resigns himself to a talentless life. At the last minute, though, Joe finds just the right skill hiding right under his shell. This warm buddy story is just about perfect for new readers who are forging new friendships. They will enjoy watching this funny duo, especially when Joe’s plans do not turn out as planned. Amusing color illustrations on each spread (usually involving sight gags with Sparky’s little legs and shell), four short chapters filled with easy sight words and lots of action, plus enough complexity to make it a bit of a challenge, make this a good choice for readers who are ready for chapter books. Being in on a joke is a treat for young readers, and this little treasure is one that will get passed around. Like the Hokey Pokey, that’s what it is all about. (Early reader. 5-8)