Review Blog

Mar 02 2016

Archie no ordinary sloth by Heath McKenzie

cover image

Five Mile Press, 2016. ISBN 9781760067892
(Age: 4+) Recommended. Animals, South America, Difference. What a delight, a cute sloth hanging about with his peers and families, but finding it hard to fit into the sloth like demeanour of the rest. He aches to try new things, to branch out, to swing from the trees. But not so the rest of the group: they prefer to do what sloths do - hang about, laze over the branches, sleep all day long and night time too. They become annoyed at the noise he makes, waking them from their slumber, and are disturbed by his antics, so tell him to go away.
So Archie goes off to find others like him. In so doing, he discovers that his difference is most useful to his clan and he saves the day.
What a perfect opportunity for a teacher or parent to talk about the word sloth, and see what it means, and talk of how language is intertwined. While a wonderful time could be had by all the animal lovers in the class looking at a map of South America to see where Archie and his cohort live, and discuss what other animals actually do live side by side with a sloth, particularly in this year of the Rio Olympic Games, where stress will be put upon all things South American. And of course, the opportunity to talk about difference presents itself to anyone who reads beneath the words and illustrations.
Fran Knight

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