All the toes and paws for “Sparky!” are for the illustrations, which are lovely. The plot and characters were unappealing, except for the sloth (whom I wanted to tear off the page and set free). The mother in the book tells her daughter, “You can have any pet you want as long as it doesn’t need to be walked or bathed or fed,” which pretty much set the tone. First, I’d rather parents break news properly (“you can’t have a pet”) and, second, sloths should never be pets—that the daughter chooses one, rubs me the wrong way. I wish the author had rewritten the story, using the great illustrations, in some more palatable way.

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Anne ZoetSparky!

Sloth’s Shoes

The story of Sloth’s Shoes is sweet and fun and kids will love the parade of animals doting on Sloth on his birthday. But the words get a bit bogged-down. An editor (or further passes by the author) should’ve flagged “‘Peanuts!’ proffered the Pangolin.” as a bit challenging for parents to stop and explain to their little ones. The illustrations are fun but it is likely a one-time read. It doesn’t feel like one that you (or your kids) will grab time and time again.

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Anne ZoetSloth’s Shoes


I absolutely love the cover of Snoozefest: sloth in a hammock with strings of lights hanging all around. The title fonts are reminiscent of Broadway lights. It is one of those eye-catching, off-the-wall covers that just sucks you in. The book itself is a bit less exciting, but it still original and enjoyable: that hammock and those strings of lights and PJ’s all poke fun at summer concert festival rituals. Pretty cute book.

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Anne ZoetSnoozefest

Score One for the Sloths

Go Sloths! I’m rooting for them. Score One for the Sloths is a fun read with a great female lead. Really sheds a good light on brainpower (and gir-lpower). It doesn’t give sloths much credit (again, any book that paints them as slow and slow only is so far from the full picture), so it is hard to see it as a score for them. But, in fact, the brainiac go-getter gal sloth makes a great heroine and I give it generally high marks (one toe missing from Burrball is all).

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Anne ZoetScore One for the Sloths

Leo the Three-Toed Sloth Loses His Way

Leo the Threed-Toed Sloth Loses His Way book is a very sweet tale! To quote from an encounter in the book, it is about “love, understanding, protection and compassion” it is about loss and love and family and friendship. The sloth (and jaguar and firefly) facts at the end are beautifully done. As are the ideas to learn more and to help raise awareness. It is a bit clumsy in the artwork (add in a jaguar to the previous scene by just repeating it with a jaguar included), but still very eye-catching. This is definitely a book to feel good about from cover to cover.

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Anne ZoetLeo the Three-Toed Sloth Loses His Way

“Slowly, Slowly, Slowly,” said the Sloth

“Slowly, Slowly, Slowly,” said the Sloth is beautifully collaged with a beautiful message that sloths can give us (if we look at them as being the figurative take-it-easy types)…why are we always in a rush rush rush?! Great messaging for children and as you’re taking time out of your busy day to sit and read with your child, you’ll feel your shoulders lowering and tensions disappearing. Jane Goodall wrote the forward and her seal of approval is very valuable to animal-life lovers.

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Anne Zoet“Slowly, Slowly, Slowly,” said the Sloth

Sloth Slept On

Three engenious little children discover this sloth asleep in their garden. They have no idea what it is and they start throwing out possibilities to one another (this process is so endearing—these are kids with imagination). When they finally conclude it is a sloth and where it must’ve come from, they plot how to get the sleeping critter back home. This is a richly illustrated and finished book. Very nice addition to the bookshelf of beautiful books.

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Anne ZoetSloth Slept On