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Joe and Sparky Get New Wheels: Candlewick Sparks
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Joe and Sparky Get New Wheels: Candlewick Sparks (Joe and Sparky)

4.17  ·  Rating Details ·  109 Ratings  ·  36 Reviews
"Turtle Sparky enjoys the safety of his shell while giraffe Joe is up for any adventure. . . . Utterly charming."—KIRKUS REVIEWS (starred review)

Sparky is a turtle who likes to stay inside his shell. Joe is a giraffe who likes to stretch his neck and see the world. When a car appears one day at the famous cageless zoo where they live, the two set off on the ride of their l
Paperback, 48 pages
Published August 10th 2010 by Candlewick Press (first published March 10th 2009)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Kerry Cerra
Jun 27, 2010 Kerry Cerra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pb
Joe and Sparky are unlikely friends. Not only is Joe a giraffe while Sparky is a turtle, but Joe loves to stretch his neck and see the world while Sparky likes to hibernate in his shell on a warm rock. When Joe sees a shiny yellow convertible sports car pull up at the zoo gate, he’s convinced it’s his prize from a contest he entered. With a little nudging, Joe riles up Sparky and together they zoom off for a day of wild adventures.

Their differences are vast but their friendship is as tight as t
Mar 28, 2011 Allie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Introverted turtle Sparky and adventureous 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, an
Oct 07, 2011 Lorriezm rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children
I really love this early reader! The second one is just as great, Joe and Sparky, Superstars! The stories are adventurous and funny and I can see kids curled up in a chair cracking up over Joe and Sparky's antics. The two opposite characters (Joe, an outgoing giraffe and Sparky, a turtle content to sit on a warm rock) not only add to the charm, but show kids that you can be great friends with people that are not at all like yourself. They are crazy and fun and the illustrations are superb. I'm d ...more
Ann Keller
Nov 13, 2014 Ann Keller rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s
Good story, which helps children understand that they should appreciate what is around them. They never know what they have until it's gone.
Nov 19, 2011 Dolly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: beginning readers and parents reading with them
Shelves: childrens, humor, zoo, 2013
This is a fun beginning chapter book featuring two unlikely pals, a turtle and a giraffe. They make somewhat of an "Odd Couple" kind of pair, with the curmudgeonly turtle who just wants to warm himself on his rock and a fun-loving giraffe who thinks up all kinds of crazy adventures. In this story, they go on an adventure to discover Sparky's special talent.

The illustrations are great and we immediately noted that the illustrator is Frank Remkiewicz, known to us best for his illustrations for the
Sep 05, 2011 Heidi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Joe (a giraffe) is the adventurous leader, Sparky (a turtle) would rather sit on his rock in the pond. But Sparky being a good friend, follows along, rather reluctantly, as Joe finds ways to spice up their humdrum existence. The writing is clear and easy to follow and the illustrations are bright and cheerful. The plot lines are appealing, involving a day outside the zoo in a car and the followup (Joe and Sparky, Superstars!) involves discovering one's talents. Character-wise, Joe's enthusiasm a ...more
Dec 23, 2009 Janet rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Joe the giraffe believes he has won a car, so he grabs skeptical buddy Sparky the turtle, and goes joyriding. Joe (the adventurous one) and Sparky (the cautious one) experience a shopping mall, a drive-in restaurant, an amusement park and a car wash. Hijinks ensue! Young readers will get a kick out of the friends' obliviousness to human constructs. This book reminded me very strongly of the excellent, similarly themed and even-more-hilarious Minnie & Moo series by Denys Cazet. Both are for K ...more
Sparky is a turtle who really enjoys staying inside his shell in his pond; Joe is an adventurous giraffe who believes in stretching his neck to see the world--and who has just won a shiny yellow sports car in a contest. Joe is ready to see the world; Sparky is ready to go back to his pond, but will accompany Joe for a short, safe trip. This easy-to-read beginning chapter book describes the adventures the twosome have in the "new wheels." The illustrations are funny and brightly-colored and pair ...more
Joe the Giraffe thinks he as won a prize in a contest. He sees a brightly colored convertible by his gate and decides they have sent the car for him as his prize. He gets his friend Sparky the Turtle to go along for a ride with him. They then go on an adventure in the car. From getting fries at a restaurant to buying lots of new things at a store, their day is filled with adventures. It was a fun read. Easy to understand and even had elements of adventure. I liked that they tried something new a ...more
Becky B
Joe the giraffe thinks he's won a car in a contest. (In reality, it belongs to a lady visiting the safari park, but both are clueless.) He takes his friend Sparky on a wild trip to town where they go on a shopping spree in a clothing store, visit a drive-in restaurant, and have all sorts of adventures.

Well, this was one wacky adventure of a book. It's divided into chapters for readers just starting to get confident in their skills, but is still packed full of eye-catching, colorful illustrations
Aug 09, 2012 Julie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hilarious. This is a total comedy of errors. A kleptomaniac Giraffe & an OCD safety conscious turtle who can be friends against all odds. Loved watching my kid who is just about to start 1st grade read it to herself and laugh out loud after listening to me tell the story. We promptly went out and looked for any other books in this series and found Joe & Sparky Superstars!
I picked out this book, and as soon as my daughter saw it she took it from me and sat down to read! I think the cover and the pictures helped win her over and made her want to see what it was all about.

To read our full review, go to The Reading Tub®.
Apr 12, 2010 Raquel rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-for-work
Ridiculously cute! It's a fun book about a giraffe and a turtle who go off on an adventure in a (stolen) car. Their naivete makes them endearing as they get themselves into all sorts of trouble. The wording of the text leaves much to be desired but the story and the brightly colored illustrations are superb!
Amy Brown
May 15, 2009 Amy Brown rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Joe is a giraffe and Sparky is a turtle and they have many adventures when Joe finds a car and talks Sparky into going for a ride. Oblivious to the craziness that they are causing, they travel to the mall, the car wash, and a drive-up restaurant. Fun reader for 1st/2nd graders.
Jul 20, 2012 Jen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
What's it like when a turtle, Sparky, who likes to stay in his shell adventures out with a giraffe, Joe, in a new car to see the sights? Lots of fun, that's for sure! Cute little beginning chapter book.
Apr 15, 2009 Molly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: goodboyreads, funny
Minnie and Moo fans will love these friends. Silly animals who get themselves into some crazy ideas. I laughed and loved these two zoo animals who (think they) win a car. Great for a kid looking for a funny reader! Finally! Grades 1+
Kate Hastings
Apr 03, 2010 Kate Hastings rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Grades 1 and 2
Shelves: early-readers
RL 330. Joe (and adventurous giraffe) and Sparky (a reluctant turtle) escape the zoo to go shopping and eat at a drive-in restaurant. Humorous illustrations and story sure to hook early readers. Grades 1 and 2.
Nancy Jo Lambert
Aug 07, 2011 Nancy Jo Lambert rated it liked it
This was a cute little book. Plenty of action and funny stuff for little kids. A bit long for preschool, but fun for kids learning to read.
Aug 18, 2012 Anne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2nd-grade, 1st-grade
So cute! I love a book that has a giraffe as one of the main characters - can't really go wrong there.
Nov 28, 2016 Karen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book, and my son found it hilarious. I must find more Joe and Sparky books.
Clara Gillow Clark
This short chapter book is written with large dollops of humor about two friends and their hilarious foibles on a road trip adventure away from the zoo. It's sure to be a favorite of young readers.
Sara B
Nov 29, 2011 Sara B rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a cute book that children enjoy reading. It is a book that is at the higher end of it's reading level. Children enjoy looking at the pictures as well as reading the book. Very enjoyable!
Michelle Bradford
Jamie has a way of capturing hilarious curiosity with precious childlike (grown-up) characters. What can I say, "I want to travel with Joe and Sparky...wearing a seatbelt of course."
Feb 18, 2010 Jen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens
Kind of cute!
Jun 27, 2009 Kristen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens
This one was really funny! I don't often find "beginning reader" books with an interesting plot and engaging characters, but this one has both.
Stephen Snyder
A delightful book that while have children laughing hysterically. Beautifully told and amazingly illustrated, this book is fun for the family.

Thank you for the loan Franklin Public Library.
Susan Erhardt
Just the kind of silly book first graders enjoy!
Tina Bartholoma
"unlikely friends, road trip, cars, 4 chapters"
Sandy Brehl
Fun. Oodles of humor and action in accessible text and colorful illustrations.
A thoroughly cute and funny easy reader. The pictures are clever and tell even more of the story. My niece and nephews enjoyed this one, and so did I!
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Jamie Michalak is the author of more than thirty children's books, including the highly praised Joe and Sparky series of early readers and SO YOU WANT TO CATCH BIGFOOT?

When not writing, she can be found racing cars, walking planks, or riding in the Millennium Falcon with her two sons. Jamie was born in Springfield, Massachusetts, and grew up in the same neighborhood where Dr. Seuss once lived. Sh
More about Jamie Michalak...

Other Books in the Series

Joe and Sparky (3 books)
  • Joe and Sparky, Superstars!: Candlewick Sparks
  • Joe and Sparky Go to School

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