The sloth and the dinglewot by Nicole Prust

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Illus. by Amanda Enright. New Frontier Publishing, 2020. ISBN: 9781925594966.
(Ages: 3-7) Recommended. Rich, vibrant illustrations by Amanda Enright complement this slow, rhythmic story about a brave sloth who dares to go adventuring. The sloths are reminiscent of the sloth in Margaret Wild's The sloth who came to stay but the setting in this book is vastly different to the sparse suburbia portrayed there. The jungle scenes in the book are layered and textural, filled with plants, flowers and animals. The night scenes are especially beautiful, as elements seem to glow and the bright colours really pop off the page. The illustrations are similar in style to Leonard doesn't dance (illustrated by Judy Watson) and the story carries similar themes to Once upon a small rhinoceros by Meg McKinlay. The slow pace of the longish text sits well with the context of this slow sloth story, also allowing time to take in the magical illustrations on each page.
It's sunrise in the jungle and the sloths are still snuggling happily in their beds ('Some grumbled and groaned in their little brown hut, Some peeked at the sun and then closed their eyes shut'). But Samuel the sloth has had enough rest; he's ready for something more. 'He yearned for adventure, he yearned to explore, The sloths found him strange because he wanted more'. Venturing to the top of the tree, Samuel meets a strange bird: 'I'm the Dinglewot Jinglewot Dingledum Dee, If you want an adventure then please come with me!' Samuel is a little worried at first but with a little encouragement from the Dinglewot and some bravery he decides to give it a shot. And so begins his adventure, flying through the air, dancing with baboons, listening to the bat brass band and eating pineapple fritters in dinglewot world.
This is a sweet and fun story about venturing outside of your comfort zone and the rewards that can come from being brave enough to try something new: more adventures, great friendships and happiness. Teacher's notes are available. Themes: Adventure, Bravery, Rhyming story.
Nicole Nelson