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Sunday, October 28, 2018

Sloth at the Zoom, written by Helaine Becker and illustrated by Orbie. Owlkids, 2018. $19.95 ages 3 and up

"When she finally looked
around, the sloth was perplexed.
You see, she thought her new
home would be pretty laid-back.

Rest and relax 
at the Zzzzzoo

But this was the Zoom,
not the Zzzzzoo. At the
Zoom, the zebras galloped so
fast they left their stripes ... "

Poor Sloth! Caught up in the rush that is life because of a delivery mistake! A careful look at the endpapers is all that is needed to help readers discover exactly what has happened to Sloth. The Zoom is similar to the Zzzzzoo; it is not the same thing.

In fact, for a leisure-loving sloth, her new home is entirely inappropriate. Little ones will catch on quickly. All of the animals she meets are in constant and humorous motion - from the monkeys who move so quickly they climb above the tops of their trees, to the parrots whose colorful tails draw rainbows as they whiz past.

Once settled in, the sloth makes it her mission to find a friend. No animal is interested in slowing down at all. Each has too much to do, and it must be done in a hurry. If you know anything about the sloth, you will know that speed is not the name of her game.

"The sloth shrugged her shaggy shoulders.
Then she chose a comfy spot where the
sun's golden rays would tickle her belly
all day long."

Sounds perfect to me! But, the sloth is lonely and remains vigilant in looking for a friend. My mother used to tell me that 'all things come to those who wait.' Turns out she was right - again! The sloth finds a friend who is exactly right for her. Can you guess who that might be? I can tell you that the new friendship has an impact on all those who live at the Zoom.

Ms. Becker's rich language and storytelling makes this an excellent choice for a shared read. The appealing, and often humorous, artwork keeps kids' attention focused on the animals and the action.

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