Joe and Sparky Go to School
Joe and Sparky Go to School

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Series: Joe And Sparky Vol. 3   

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Annotation: Accidentally becoming stuck on a school bus that has just pulled away from their cageless zoo, Safari World, Sparky and his buddy, Joe, arrive at the school and learn a variety of new things by the end of the day.
Catalog Number: #88171
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
All Formats: Search
Special Formats: Chapter Book Chapter Book
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Copyright Date: 2013
Edition Date: 2014
Illustrator: Remkiewicz, Frank,
Pages: 41 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-7636-7181-9 Perma-Bound: 0-605-83465-2
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-7636-7181-5 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-83465-1
Dewey: E
LCCN: 2012943657
Dimensions: 24 cm.
Language: English
Horn Book
Giraffe Joe and best friend Sparky the turtle, who live at Safari Land, take an unexpected field trip to a school when they accidentally board a departing bus full of "noisy short people." Limited but lively vocabulary, a large font, and carefully placed illustrations--all in a humorous, high-interest package--will make this a hit.
Kirkus Reviews
It's not Mary's little lamb, but Joe the giraffe and Sparky the turtle who go to school one day in this third installment of Michalak and Remkiewicz's early-reader series. When Joe and Sparky spy a field trip at Safari Land, "the famous cageless zoo," Joe can't resist getting a closer look at the school bus, which is big, yellow and loud, just like him. With Sparky perched atop his head, Joe sidles up to the bus, and the turtle inadvertently ends up speeding away on the bus' roof. Ever loyal, Joe leaps onto the back of the bus to save his friend. In the second chapter, they arrive at the school, where the teacher, Miss Hootie, steps on her glasses. Her sight compromised, she mistakes Joe and Sparky for a student (presumably one that's wearing a hat), much to her real students' delight and amusement. Try as they might, the animals can't quite master the class routines, and Joe is woefully disappointed, as he wants to earn a star from Miss Hootie. Happily, Sparky finds ways to affirm his friend, and they end up back in Safari Land by book's end. While the story feels rather forced and reliant on slapstick, and the pictures not always great at providing context cues for new readers, fans of the earlier, stronger series installments will be pleased to revisit its characters. Onward Joe and Sparky! (Early reader. 6-8)
Publishers Weekly
When a group of "noisy short people" (aka schoolchildren) arrives at Safari World, Sparky the turtle and Joe the giraffe take an immediate interest. With Sparky riding on Joe's head, they peer through the window of the kids' school bus-and inadvertently get taken on a field trip of their own. In the third chapter book to star this unlikely duo, Michalak will have readers giggling over the silly exchanges and comedic misunderstandings that follow as Sparky and Joe attempt to fit in at school. Their discovery of a toilet makes for an especially amusing sequence, as they watch it mysteriously refill: "Do you know what we have learned, Sparky?" asks Joe. "That schools have a magic pond." The vibrant watercolor and colored pencil cartoons and well-targeted humor (the children know that Sparky and Joe are animals, but their nearsighted teacher, Miss Hootie, believes they are students) will entertain growing readers. A final image hints that Sparky and Joe's next adventure might be just on the horizon. Ages 5-7. Illustrator's agent: Kendra Marcus, BookStop Literary. (June)
School Library Journal
Gr 1&11;3&12; This beginning chapter book is a lot of fun. Joe Giraffe and Sparky, a turtle, live in Safari Land, "the famous cageless zoo." In four chapters they see a school bus and climb on to satisfy their curiosity; end up at school with the "noisy short people"; try to blend in but the "magic pond" (the toilet) provides some silliness; and Joe attempts to get a star for good work since Sparky has earned several. The animals experience the ups and downs of friendship. The students seem totally unaware that these newcomers are animals, and the teacher is equally accepting. She does step on her glasses and that limits her vision but, nevertheless, Joe and Sparky's visit seems as normal as could be. The cartoon illustrations in watercolor and Prismacolor pencils are full of action and humor. This is an engaging choice for students who are beyond the easy-to-reads and not quite ready for longer chapter books. The humor is mild but entertaining and the readability is just right.&12; Susan Lissim, Dwight School, New York City
Word Count: 1,597
Reading Level: 2.1
Interest Level: K-3
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 2.1 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 159046 / grade: Lower Grades
Lexile: 480L
Guided Reading Level: L
Fountas & Pinnell: L

The endearing and mismatched pals accidentally latch onto a big yellow bus and leave the cageless zoo for their first trip to school.

Sparky the turtle may be cautious, but when the strange vehicle full of noisy short people pulls away from Safari World, he finds himself stuck on the bus’s roof just the same. Luckily his giraffe friend, Joe, is adventurous enough to take a running jump, too! When they arrive at school, they discover that there’s a lot to learn, like the fact that the restroom is full of little magic “ponds,” that you’re supposed to count the peas, not eat them, and that the goal of the day seems to be to get a star. But just when Joe fears that he may have to go home starless, Sparky reminds him of all the ways that his loyal friend already shines. Readers will roll over laughing — and find lots to relate to — in this hilarious new adventure.

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