Sakura Medal (Japan) Shortlist 2020
2020 Blue Spruce Honor Award 2020
CCBC Best Books for Kids and Teens 2019
Toronto Public Library First and Best List 2018
One day, a sloth accidentally gets delivered to the Zoom! She was supposed to be dropped off at the Zzzzzoo, a much more laid-back, slow-paced place. She had been looking forward to long, languorous naps while the sun gently warmed her belly. But at the Zoom, the zebras gallop so fast they leave their stripes in puddles. The monkeys climb so fast they forget to stop at the treetops. And the parrots fly so fast their tails draw rainbows across the sky.
When the sloth tries to make friends, nobody has any time—until the sloth meets a creature who’s a little more her speed, and everyone stops to notice. This is a surprising, delightful, and funny picture book about slowing down to enjoy the little things and making time for what matters.
OWLKIDS BOOKS ISBN 978-1771472494
$19.95 Cda/$ 17.95 US
En Francais: 978-1443174367 $12.95 Cda
"A quintessentially laid-back sloth is mistakenly delivered to the Zoom instead of her expected destination, the Zzzzzoo.
It was a wrong turn (as the endpapers show). At the Zoom, “The monkeys climbed so fast they forgot to stop at the treetops. / And the parrots flew so fast their tails drew rainbows across the sky.” Over an appropriately attenuated period of weeks, the sloth tries to befriend a cheetah, those monkeys, and a zeal of zebras—but all rush off with only the briefest of exchanges. Just as the sloth resigns herself to loneliness—“No one here has any time”—she meets a snail. Evidencing their perfectly matched modi vivendi, it takes four funny panels for the sloth to mosey down to the snail’s philodendron—the same amount of time for the snail to travel the length of a leaf. “And as the setting sun adorned the sky,” they share a snack and a cool drink. Predictably, their contentment attracts the attention of the other animals, who “[slow] down… / …just long enough, that is, to become fast friends.” Perfectly pitched for preschoolers who are just beginning to understand jokes, Becker’s turns of phrase are well-cadenced for read-alouds. Notably, the sloth never loses her cool over the other animals’ ways. Orbie’s appealing illustrations evoke those of Bill Peet.
A gentle lesson that positive alternatives to hurtling mindlessly through life do exist—even at the Zoom." - KIRKUS
"Silliness and quiet wisdom follow the tracks of an animal-transport van that delivers a sloth to the “zoom”
instead of the “zzzzzoo.” Rather than arriving at a laid-back new abode, the sloth finds himself living with
a really fast crowd: monkeys who constantly climb, zebras who run so fast that their stripes come off,
parrots who streak across the sky so fast that they leave rainbows in their wake. The sloth wants to make a
friend, but the zoom crowd won’t slow down for him. Subtle jabs are made at overscheduled adults here,
as seen with the “busy, busy, busy!” cheetah and the monkeys who are running late. Orbie’s pastel
illustrations, with comic-book lettering and speech bubbles, are a joy to follow, and creatively show just
how slow a sloth can be. For example, several speech bubbles are used for one sloth sentence to show his
unhurried pace. The sloth finally finds a friend just his speed, and their picnic for two grows as the other
animals finally stop by and become “fast friends.”
"Dedicated to the world’s “slowpokes, dawdlers, and lazybones,” this book takes a loving look at the pleasure of slowing down." - School Library Journal
"FIVE STARS - This sweet short story would make a terrific read-aloud in an early years’ classroom or library. There’s only a short amount of text on each page as it is intended for an audience of early readers. The author’s variety of verbs, such as “whizzing,” “zipped,” and “whinnied”, serve as excellent exemplars to demonstrate the importance of word choice in writing. There are also examples of onomatopoeia included throughout the text which are fun for children to read aloud with expression. Dialogue between the characters is written in comic-style speech bubbles. When the sloth is speaking, the writer strategically uses multiple speech bubbles to slow the reader down so as to mimic the sloth’s articulation.
Alternatively, Sloth at the Zoom would be a great addition to a home reading collection. Young children may use their imaginations to expand the characters at the Zoom by involving some of their own stuffed animals.
Design-wise, Orbie does a fantastic job bringing the animals and setting to life in full-size drawings. It looks as though crayons were the main medium of choice used in the images. Crayons are frequently a medium of choice in early years’ classrooms as well; therefore, these beautifully detailed illustrations may inspire young artists in the classroom. Teachers may turn Sloth at the Zoom into a preliminary art lesson by pointing out how the illustrator overlapped certain colours, put more pressure on outlines to make them bold, and created shading using crayons. The exaggerated facial expressions and body language of the characters tell the story, itself, making it fun for the audience to view.
Highly Recommended. - CM MAGAZINE
“Ms. Becker's rich language and storytelling makes this an excellent choice for a shared read.” -Sal's Fiction Addiction
"This is an easy to read & beautifully illustrated picture book. We had so much fun reading it. We give this picture book five stars!!!!!" - POPPINCENTS
"Sloth at the Zoom is the perfect zoo picture book for pre-school to second graders, or adults who frequent the children’s book section in a non-weirdo way.
The moral about slowing down and enjoying life is a reminder that we all need. Paired with light-hearted illustrations and humor, I could not recommend this title more. I love that the zebras loose their stripes, and I cracked up at the subtle illustrations of the sun setting as Sloth slowly crawled down to meet Snail. The image of the parrots painting the rainbow sky is imaginative brilliance. I just made myself all warm and fuzzy inside. Plus, who doesn’t love books about sloths? Even when you conduct a keyword search for SEO, ‘cute sloth pictures’ is a highly searched term. Kudos to Becker for creating a health and wellness picture book for the entire family." - The Uncorked Librarian
"Sloth at the Zoom is a wacky and silly book. The sloooow speech from the sloth and the colourful descriptions of how quick the other animals are make this a engaging read aloud. The illustrations really capture the speed of the other animals and the sloth’s slow, unrushed movement. I read this book to a 2.5 year old and an 8 year old and they were both interested in this story! Sloth at the Zoom is a fun read for the entire family." - Indie Tot
"a gentle cautionary tale about pausing to “smell the flowers” for small humans, big humans and animals. Recommended. " - Resource Links