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
"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.”