Margaret Wild (text), Vivienne To (illus.), The Sloth Who Came to Stay, Allen & Unwin, July 2017, 32pp., $24.99 (hbk), ISBN: 9781760290221
Amy’s family situation is a familiar one. Mum and Dad have every second of every day filled with fast-paced tasks. They are the speediest family in town. But their frenetic lifestyle is disrupted when Amy brings a sloth home. Sloth can’t be rushed and so Amy, alongside Mum and Dad, must learn to embrace the unplanned and quiet moments in life.
Margaret Wild’s tale of modern family life is my favourite picture book so far this year. The busy bustle of the everyday can overshadow the need for children to have quality time with their parents. Wild’s gentle words remind us of the importance of listening to our little ones. We see how much happier life can be with mindfulness.
Vivienne To’s illustrations add depth to the story. They begin with a burst of colour as Amy’s family rushes through every second of their day. As Sloth teaches the family to slow down, the images begin to calm, allowing the reader to savour and appreciate the details.
Perhaps this story resonates with me as it is one I can relate to? Perhaps Miss Six loves it as we both enjoyed spending some one-on-one time doing nothing but reading a lovely story? Perhaps Sloth will come and stay with us next?
Reviewed by Fiona Miller-Stevens