Joe and Sparky Get New Wheels

Book review by
Patricia Tauzer, Common Sense Media
Joe and Sparky Get New Wheels Book Poster Image
Goofy adventure and side-splitting humor for new readers.

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age 2+
Based on 1 review

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The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Positive Messages
Violence & Scariness

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this book is filled with likable characters, silly humor, and short chapters. It's perfect for beginning readers.

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Parent of a 1, 5, and 8-year-old Written bymariaalex April 17, 2009

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What's the story?

Joe the giraffe is outgoing and impulsive. His friend Sparky the turtle is more timid, and very cautious. Still, they are great friends, in much the same way as Frog and Toad of Arnold Lobel's Frog and Toad stories. One day, Joe is convinced that he has won a car he sees parked in the zoo where he lives, and that's the beginning of a day full of side-splitting silliness. The duo makes one mistake after another, all innocent and fun, which is \ probably why kids will really get the jokes. But somehow they survive, \ have a great day, and end up back home in the zoo, where no one is \ upset, except maybe the lady whose car, and hat, had gone missing.

Is it any good?

If you are looking for a book that will hook a beginning reader, this could be the one for you. JOE AND SPARKY GET NEW WHEELS definitely is not a story to take seriously, but it's full of crazy fun. And just how crazy is pretty obvious from the illustration on the cover: a giraffe in a Carmen Miranda hat driving a yellow sports car and a turtle holding on for dear life?! And, that's just the beginning. What follows is a day of goofy adventures, mixed-up messages, and crazy mayhem.

Kids will not be able to read a page without laughing aloud. Parents will enjoy it too because the silliness is not only in what the two friends do, but in how their story is told. And, the supporting art work is bright and playful, by the same artist who illustrates all the Froggy and Horrible Harry books.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the adventures of this unlikely duo. Can you imagine seeing a giraffe driving a car down the highway, or walking through a mall? Why did the giraffe think he won the car? Whose car was it really? How do you think he learned to drive? How are the giraffe and turtle different? Are you more like the giraffe, or the turtle? Why? What makes them such good friends? Could any of this really happen? What makes this such a great story?

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