The Upside-Down Book of Sloths

Norton. Sept. 2023. 40p. Tr $18.95. ISBN 9781324015772.
Gr 2-5–This informational book about sloths is full of fascinating information about these peculiar creatures. Shreeve introduces each of the six species in the sloth family tree, and key elements such as habitat (“tree huggers”), eating habits (“leaf munchers”), and physical characteristics (“adorable”). Additionally, she describes the range of prehistoric sloth species, comparing them to their modern counterparts and going back and forth in time in a repeated pattern. Fun tidbits—such as the fact that due to their slow metabolism, sloths only poop once a week—and playful language—like comparing the size of a pygmy sloth to a “slightly chubby chihuahua”—appear throughout. Illustrations demonstrate a clear study of the sloth, as each of the depictions is unique, expressive, and lifelike. Their faces are particularly compelling and draw readers into the page. The texture of the intricate etchings making up the sloth’s fur stands out against the blurred and smudged trees and foliage.
VERDICT An engaging and informative inquiry into the world of sloths, past and present. Recommended for purchase for animal collections.

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