When some children discover a somnolent and decidedly stocky sloth, stretched out in a tree in the garden, they determine to discover what it is and from whence it came. Dad is too busy to help so they turn to books and then flights of fancy: could he have been a space traveller, or perhaps a pirate returning from adventuring upon the high seas? Eventually the smallest child (who has remained convinced of the power of books) discovers the answer. That’s part one of the job done and I love the way a spread of sloth facts with a gentle conservation message is cleverly embedded within the narrative. The second part is to return the creature to the rainforest, its supposed home. Job done. Maybe not if you are that particular sloth however.
At the heart of Frann Preston-Gannon’s wonderful story are four things I’m passionate about: children’s curiosity; the imagination – especially where the young are concerned; the power of books; and inclusivity. In fact everything about this superb book has been done with great expedience. The gorgeous collage scenes, too, celebrate diversity, children’s love of adventure and their playfulness. The ending is brilliant and children will love spotting the hints leading up to this embedded in the illustrations throughout.