The sloth who came to stay by Margaret Wild

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Ill. by Vivienne To. Allen & Unwin, 2017. ISBN 9781760290221
(Age: 4+) Highly recommended. Sloths. Family. Amy's family is the fastest in the world, they do everything at breakneck speed. They do everything so quickly there is never enough time to sit and talk. They walk, shop and eat tea quickly. But one day Amy brings home a sloth. The sloth is warned that this is a very fast family, but he just lives at his own pace. He has a leisurely bath, then he sits down at the table and eats very slowly, so slowly in fact that Amy has time to tell him about her day, while Mum and Dad are being busy around her. The illustrations reflect their busyness, with both parents rushing through their exercises, their work, their eating and housework all at speed. Children will laugh out loud at the methods they use to make use of every minute of the day. Amy and the sloth do things so slowly that Mum and Dad begin to talk to them about their day, to talk to the neighbours, to pat the cat and look at the moon. They eventually slow down to the sloth's pace of life, taking time themselves
They begin to do things together as a family, and the illustrations again reflect the things that families do, modeling this for the reader.
When at the end the sloth moves in with the speedy family next door, Amy and her family know that the sloth will have the same effect on them, making them slow down too.
This wonderful story is welcome in a class where children's lives are filled to the brim with things to do. The book will encourage them to take time out and smell the roses, and astute teachers and parents will take time to do just that.
Fran Knight