Title: Sparky!

 Author: Jenny Offill

 Illustrator: Chris Appelhans

 Summary: All the little girl wants is a pet! Mom’s not so sure, however…so she promises a pet, but only if the little girl can find one that doesn’t need to be bathed, walked, or fed. What follows is an endearing tale of a little girl and her pet sloth—learning to love one another simply for who they are, not what they can do.

 Message: I unashamedly bought this book for myself. Normally when I buy kid’s books (which is often…) I at least pretend it’s “for my cousin!” or “the girl I nanny!” Not so with Sparky, not so. This beautifully illustrated and charmingly written book reminds us all that we are human beings not human doings. In a world so obsessed with output and productivity—this is a necessary and calming reminder, particularly to children! Of course achievements and successes should be celebrated—but not the entire focus of our existence. Who better than a pet sloth to teach us the beauty of simply being? If he could be bothered, I bet Sparky would definitely practice yoga. Namaste, Sparky. Thank you for the reminder that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, that we are all unique wonders worthy of abundant love simply because we exist.

-Catherine Scallen