Friday, October 23, 2015

Kyle Goes Alone

Kyle Goes Alone
by Jan Thornhill; illus. by Ashley Barron
32 pages; ages 3-7
OwlKids, 2015

theme: nature, animals, nonfiction

"I have to go," said Kyle.

The problem is that Kyle is a three-toed sloth living high in the rainforest canopy. And he's a slowpoke. And the "bathroom" is wa-a-a-ay down on the forest floor. And on this day, of all days, mama sloth decides that Kyle is old enough to go on his own.

What I like about this book:  As Kyle descends down, down, down the tree, he is never alone. Not only does mom follow him (though she stays mostly hidden), he meets other inhabitants of the rainforest: a red-spectacled parrot, a whipsnake, a tree frog.

I also like the repetition of Kyle saying, "But I'm all alone!" followed by "No you're not" croaked or screeched or hissed by an animal living somewhere on or near Kyle's tree. I like that the illustrator uses the book, making us turn the book sideways for more vertical illustrations that help depict just how far down Kyle has to climb. And I like that Kyle makes it all the way down by himself... and "goes".

Plus there's back matter, which I love because it fills in the gaps of the story. And I love the cut-paper illustrations. A completely different take on your "Going to the Potty" book.

Beyond the book:

Find out more about life in the canopy. There are lots of animals that live in the canopy of the rainforest jungles. But what about the canopy of forests near you? Is there a nature center with a tree house where you can sit and watch animals?

Go on a field trip to a zoo. Take along a camera or your sketchbook so you can draw pictures of animals you see that live in the rainforest canopy.

Watch how illustrator Ashley Barron makes Kyle from cut paper.

Try your hand at creating some cut paper animals. Or maybe you'd like to use fabric or scraps of paper and feathers. For more ideas, check out this post over at Sally's Bookshelf.

Today's review is part of the STEM Friday roundup. Drop by STEM Friday blog for more science books and resources. We're also joining PPBF (perfect picture book Friday), an event in which bloggers share great picture books at Susanna Leonard Hill's site. She keeps an ever-growing list of Perfect Picture BooksReview copy from publisher.


  1. Sloths are in at the moment and I love it. I also love how child-centric this story sounds. Great find.

  2. The problem that Kyle faces will be one many kids can relate to.

  3. There sounds like so much to love about this story -- an many different themes. Kids will relate to Kyle's concerns. I like the repetition too. You really know how to find great nonfiction books.

  4. What a great way to mix varied topics! Putting it on my list - thanks!

  5. The collage cover illustration looks great!

  6. This sounds like another great pick for PPBF with lots of resources to pick from. I love your ideas for enrichment.

    This book reminds me of a WETA PBS nature show I saw last week about sloths but it was not specifically about how to 'go" ! Great idea for both metaphors. A great idea for a potty book. :)

  7. Sloths! What a fun theme all kids can relate to. The STEM tie is perfect.

  8. Sloths! What a fun theme all kids can relate to. The STEM tie is perfect.

  9. This looks like a great book, Sue! Slow-moving sloths plus having to go to the bathroom equals perfect combination. ;)