Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

A little Book of Sloth

A little Book of Sloth

Lucy Cooke
Nonfiction Picture Book
For ages 7 and up
Simon and Schuster, 2013   ISBN: 978-1442445574

It all began when a baby three-toed sloth was left on Judy Arroyo’s doorstep. Judy called the sloth, Buttercup and for twenty years Buttercup has ruled over “Slothville” from her own hanging wicker chair. Word got out that Judy was willing to take in sick, injured, or orphaned sloths and soon her home was full of sloths of all ages, both three-toed sloths and two-toed ones. Now Judy runs the world first and only sloth sanctuary

   Both sloth species live in the jungles of South and Central America where they spend most of their time hanging upside down. Their long claws help them to stay securely hooked to tree branches, and they are so well adapted to this way of life that they cannot really walk on the ground properly.

   Hanging upside down, these animals spend most of their time sleeping and when they do move about they do so very slowly. In fact, sloths could be said to be the “absolute masters of mellow.” Not much bothers them. They just hang out, chill, and enjoy the ride.

   When baby sloths arrives at Judy’s house they are issued a warm sloth “onesie” because sloths, like reptiles, have a hard time regulating their temperature. They are also given something to hug. Baby sloths stay attached to their mothers from the moment they are born, so having something warm and cozy to hold onto is essential for their wellbeing.

   Though wild sloths are solitary creatures, the sloths in Judy’s sanctuary often form close bonds. Two of the sloths, Sunshine and Sammy, were brought to the sanctuary at around the same time and they “have been having a hugging marathon ever since.” Others form close bonds with their stuffie. Mateo took a while to choose his stuffie, but now he and Mr. Moo are inseparable.

   In this wonderful book Lucy Cooke pairs an amusing and informative text with her wonderful photographs and she takes us into the lives of the sloths that live in the sloth sanctuary in Costa Rica. In addition to telling us about the sloths in the sanctuary, she tells us about sloth behavior and we learn a little about wild sloths. Anyone interested is seeing the sanctuary sloths should visit the Slothville website

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