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BOOK REVIEW: The Sloth Who Came to Stay by Margaret Wild, illustrated by Vivienne To

BOOK REVIEW: The Sloth Who Came to Stay by Margaret Wild, illustrated by Vivienne To

Allen & Unwin
July 2017
Hardcover, $24.99
Reviewed by Steph O’Connell

Picture Book

9/10

Amy’s family is speedy! They are always in such a rush that there is no time to talk or play – until the afternoon Amy brings home a sloth. Then things start changing very, very slowly …
Sloth shook his head very, very s l o w l y, because sloths do everything s l o w l y.
Quick smart,’ said Mum.
‘I have to warn you, Sloth,’ Amy whispered. ‘We are the fastest family in the entire world.’
Despite the fact that Amy’s parents continue to do thinks quickly, and many things all at once, and never take the time to stop and talk and “smell the roses” as it were.
He dried himself s l o w l y,
combed his fur s l o w l y,
admired himself for a g e s in the mirror, then crawled down the stairs for dinner.
But eventually, in waiting for him to catch up, the family slows down and begins to spend time together and enjoy relaxing things like gardening, reading, swimming, and going for picnics. 

‘Just enough time for a quick trot around the block before bedtime.’

But Sloth couldn’t trot.
He dragged himself along,
v e r y,
v e r y
s l o w l y.

So s l o w l y that Amy and Mum and Dad had plenty of time to chat with the neighbours,
pat a cat,
throw a stick for a friendly dog,
admire the moon, and try to find the red star.

 
This is a gorgeous book full of illustrations of the cutest sloth you’ve ever seen. There are plenty of fantastic little background touches that paint the scene, like the destruction left in the wake of the family when they walked fast, drove fast, shopped fast, and ate fast. There’s even a stack of books about thinking and being faster, and an increasingly speedy stack of fast meal books (20 minute meals at the bottom of the stack, instant meals at the top, obviously recently used) early on, and some very different books towards the end (1001 Types of Moss, Art of Patience, Slow Cooking).
 
This book is gorgeous and spot on in every way and helps remind us in the age we live in, with technology helping us pack more and more into the same amount of time, that there are more important things and people we should be focusing on, and that there is joy to be had in doing something purely because it makes you happy.
 
Highly recommended and fantastic to read aloud, I already have a few Margaret Wild books, but will definitely be keeping an eye out for any illustrated by Vivienne To.
 
 
 
 
 
BOOK REVIEW: The Sloth Who Came to Stay by Margaret Wild, illustrated by Vivienne To

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