Reading/Interest Level: Toddler, Preschool
Author: Helen Lester
Illustrator: Lynn Munsinger
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
The sloths at Sleepy Valley Sloth School are just plain lazy. They sleep all day and can hardly manage to bring themselves to eat a few berries at lunch time. They snore through their lessons, and even the teacher seems to forget he's supposed to be teaching, not napping. One day a new sloth shows up named Sparky. Sparky is perky and full of pep and runs circles around the snoozing sloths. One day, a wild boar appears to shut down the sloth school because of their low test scores. With some quick thinking, Sparky convinces him that their school should stay open.
This entertaining tale will have young children giggling as sloths are rolled home and stacked into towers while sleeping because they simply can't bring themselves to get up. The inventive ways Sparky, the liveliest of the sloths, is able to keep the sloth school open encourages creative thinking and problem-solving skills in readers. However, outside of the witty and entertaining story, it seems to lack a solid lesson that would have been expected. However, this could lead to some discussion with children and encourage their own creative problem-solving skills. Overall, it's a book that will be enjoyed by many!