Ollie: The Purple Elephant by Jarrett Krosoczka #BookADay

By Jarrett Krosoczka

Title: Ollie: The Purple Elephant

Author: Jarrett Krosoczka

Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf, Random House Children’s Book
Publication year: 2011
Category: Picture Book (fiction)
Source: Monroe 1 BOCES Overdrive E-Book Collection

Summary: A family adopts a purple elephant, but they are separated by a jealous cat.

Review: I really love Krosoczka’s Lunch Lady graphic novels, so last year I bought Ollie for my library at the AASL Conference in Hartford, where Krosoczka hosted a Comic Book breakfast and signing. This book was just wonderful. A parents walking their children in the park agree to their children’s seemingly unlikely request to adopt a Purple Elephant. To their great surprise they stumble onto to a homeless purple elephant on their walk. The parent’s facial expression were fantastic in this scene and many others. Krosoczka is master storyteller and his illustrations masterfully expand and suport his writing.

Classroom Use: I would use this story with my PK-3 students. It is a fun, read-a-loud and great for discussions of inference, jelousy, fact-checking and conflict resolution.




Sparky! by Jenny Offill & Chris Appelhans

Daughter badgers mom for a pet

By Jenny Offill and Chris Appelhans


Title: Sparky!
Author: Jenny Offill (Writer) & Chris Appelhans (Illustrator)
Publisher: Random House Children’s Books,  Schwartz & Wade Books
Publication year: 2014
Category: Picture Book (Fiction)
Source: Monroe 1 BOCES Overdrive E-Book Collection

Summary: A little girl badger her mother for a pet. She adopts a sloth she names Sparky.

Review: Although I bought Offill’s “11 Experiments That Failed” for the RCS Library’s collection, this is the first of her book that I have read.  I was really engaged in the un-named little’s girl’s quest for a pet. The first person narration was witty and gently self-deprecating. The whole book was fun to read.  I enjoyed the librarian shout-out and how the little girl comes to accept her pet for what he is, not what other want it to be.

I will be sharing this book with K-3 students, particularly as fun preparation for Pet Research Projects.  I can see pairing it with non-fiction book on sloths.