Reading/Interest Level: Preschool
Author: Amy Young
Publisher: Garrard, Straus, and Giroux
Lucy's friend Cole comes over to play, but they forget all about Sparkle. So Sparkle has to remind them by wrecking their blocks and popping Lucy's ball. But then he gets sent to timeout. Cole starts playing his drum and Sparkle likes how it sounds, so he starts to dance! Now it is Lucy's turn to be jealous as she watches her friends play together. Sparkle hands her the drum and soon the three are playing and dancing together.
It is amazing how well Amy Young has captured the essence of toddlers in her characters for A New Friend for Sparkle. Their quick-set jealousy, outbursts, forgiveness and easy friendship are so characteristic of that age. This would be a good book for kids struggling with any of these issues, and it even offers suggestions for how to solve them, like sharing. The illustrations are darling and whimsical, with the soft watercolor accented with black thin lines. Lucy's hair is especially memorable. Overall, A New Friend for Sparkle is an enjoyable and truthful tale of toddlers and is accompanied by great illustrations.