The One and Only Sparkella and the Big Lie (Sparkella, 3) by Channing Tatum was my first, and probably last, Sparkella picture book I will read. The entire book is fluffy, and a celebrity pushed book. I have no opinion on the actor/author’s performances on screen, but their book left me flat, and bored. And Kim Barnes, I am sure you are a lovely person, but the illustrations are cliched and were not enjoyable for me. They were too bright, minimal in their details, and I could not see the lack of sparkle when Sparkella loses her spark. I just saw a kid in the mirror, or I did not “get the point” other than I was told that was the point.
The characters are somewhat diverse (there are children of color), but they could be “any child” and did not have to be “different” other than it is the “politically correct” thing to do. Then there are modern family dynamics, with the best friend of Sparkella living with a grandmother, Sparkella seems to have a single father raising her, and then we have the PC “boy vibe” as the new friend is not your “typical boy” and likes to dress up more than play with cars. I am not even sure if Sparkella learns her lesson about stealing things, as it all works out in the end, she is forgiven, and even the new friend is like “that’s okay, come play at my house.”
Okay, kids, do you like this kind of thing? Great! But this adult was not amused. Due later in the month of May/early June 2023, I read via a reader copy from online.