Review of Happy Sloth Day!

Happy Sloth Day! Happy Sloth Day!
by April Pulley Sayre; photos by the author and Jeff Sayre
Primary    Beach Lane/Simon    48 pp.    g
3/22    978-1-5344-5373-9    $17.99
e-book ed.  978-1-5344-5374-6    $10.99

This book describes a day in the life of a Panamanian sloth (in reality, per the acknowledgments, a composite of eight years of expeditions and of two separate species) in a poem of joyful observations of the sloth and many other inhabitants, friendly and fearsome, of the forest canopy. In the midst of all the action rests the title creature—photographed in bright and crisp detail—leisurely drying its fur, scratching its back, chomping on leaves (“a tree is sloth salad”), and surveying the activity of others. The late Sayre’s (Being Frog, rev. 1/20; Cityscape, rev. 7/20) rhymes capture the contrasts between the other busy animals and the resting sloth: “Swish, swish! / Howlers hop. / Monkeys shake / the leafy ocean. /Branches rise and fall. / The sloth sways with the motion.” The well-designed layout balances stanzas in white spaces alongside, atop, or opposite the impressive images. More detailed information about topics such as sloth behavior, eating and digestion, and survival are found in color panels in the margins of the layouts, as well as in an appended “Sloth Science” spread.

From the March/April 2022 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Danielle J. Ford
Danielle J. Ford
Danielle J. Ford is a Horn Book reviewer and an associate professor of Science Education at the University of Delaware.

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