Joe and Sparky, Superstars!: Candlewick Sparks

Overview

The unlikely duo return in a very funny tale of friendship, derring-do, and the discovery that, bold or shy, anyone can become a superstar.

When fun-seeking Joe, a giraffe, takes a reluctant Sparky, a turtle, on a wild ride across the famous cageless zoo to see a mysterious box displaying a talent show, the two decide they must compete to be the next famous pair. But what are their talents? Joe can run fast, wiggle his ears, and touch his nose with his tongue (not to mention ...

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Overview

The unlikely duo return in a very funny tale of friendship, derring-do, and the discovery that, bold or shy, anyone can become a superstar.

When fun-seeking Joe, a giraffe, takes a reluctant Sparky, a turtle, on a wild ride across the famous cageless zoo to see a mysterious box displaying a talent show, the two decide they must compete to be the next famous pair. But what are their talents? Joe can run fast, wiggle his ears, and touch his nose with his tongue (not to mention drive a car). But Sparky doesn’t know what his special skill is. Can the enthusiastic encouragement of Joe the World’s Best Talent Finder help the retiring Sparky become a star?

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Being in on a joke is a treat for young readers, and this little treasure is one that will get passed around.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Children's Literature - Lisa Kuehne
Ever wonder what makes you special from the rest of the world? It is easy to feel lost in the crowd when we see so many people with such amazing abilities. Michalak does an excellent job of showing young readers that every one of us has a hidden talent, we just have take the time to look. Joe, a giraffe, and Sparky, a turtle, come across a television advertising a talent competition. They want to participate, but need to find a talent. Young readers follow along as Sparky tries to dance and tell jokes without much luck. Just when the duo is about to give up, they realize Sparky's special talent was there all along—following behind him. Michalak makes this story entertaining and her characters are quirky, fun-loving additions to this inspiring tale. Remkiewicz's illustrations nicely break up this book and show us this duo's personalities. At the end, when Joe sees a billboard looking for movie extras, we know Joe and Sparky will soon undertake another fun-filled adventure and we can't wait to join them! Reviewer: Lisa Kuehne
School Library Journal
Gr 1–2—Sparky the turtle is having a hard time. He wants to help his friend Joe the giraffe win the Talented Pairs contest hosted by television personality Grant Wish, but ever since he left the comfort and safety of his warm rock, he has failed at every activity he's tried. He can't learn comedy from a monkey or a Hokey Pokey dance routine from his best friend. Lessons in balancing are unsuccessful; practice ends with a tumble. Exhausted after trying to win a race against an ostrich, Sparky says, "I cannot be Sparky the Star. Just for you, Joe, I have tried. But we will never be a talented pair." Joe will not give up though. As they walk back to their home at the Safari Land cageless zoo, they discover a talent they share involving shadows. They may not end up on television, but when they perform, it's to an appreciative audience. Summer scenes rendered in watercolor and prismacolor pencil appear on every page of this easy reader. Each of the four short chapters is episodic and contains humorous dialogue. The font is large and at times changes in appearance to reflect emotion and sound. Michalak and Remkiewicz have written another enjoyable book about two friends who bring out the best in each other.—Tanya Boudreau, Cold Lake Public Library, AB, Canada
Kirkus Reviews
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)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763666422
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 4/9/2013
  • Series: Candlewick Sparks Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 48
  • Sales rank: 331,438
  • Age range: 5 - 9 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.80 (h) x 0.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Jamie Michalak is the author of Joe and Sparky Get New Wheels and the Brand New Readers book Larry and Rita. She says, "Turtles rarely get the spotlight, so I wanted to write a story that gave Sparky the attention turtles have long deserved. Little did I know that he’d have such an astounding hidden talent." Jamie Michalak lives in Barrington, Rhode Island.

Frank Remkiewicz has illustrated many books for children, including Joe and Sparky Get New Wheels and Piggy and Dad Go Fishing. He lives on the Gulf Coast of Florida.

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