Title: Joe and Sparky Get New Wheels

Author: Jamie Michalak

Illustrated by: Frank Remkiewicz

Publisher: Candlewick

Publication Date: April 9, 2013 

Grades Pre-K – 3Introverted turtle Sparky and adventurous giraffe Joe are best friends despite their differences. When Joe spies a car he’s certain he won in a contest, he convinces Sparky to come out of his shell and depart on an adventure like nothing Safari Land has ever seen before.  The pair learn how to shop ‘til they drop, the difference between fries and flies, and the joys of wearing a fruit-be-decked hat.

The characterizations of fun-loving Joe and safety-conscious Sparky are consistent throughout, and the illustrations perfectly capture the humor of the text. Joe and Sparky Get New Wheels is a charming story that will have children begging for re-reads. Parents will appreciate the sentiment that while there’s no place like home, it’s a good idea to stick your neck out for adventure every once in a while. Safety first, of course.

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