Friday, January 14, 2022

Life in the Very Slooooow Lane

The Secret Life of the Sloth
by Laurence Pringle; illus. by Kate Garchinsky 
32 pages; ages 6-9
‎Boyds Mills Press, 2021

theme: animal families, rainforest, nonfiction

Perezoso swims. She swims across a narrow river to reach a place in the rainforest where she knows there are tree leaves she likes to eat.

Perezoso is a three-fingered sloth who spends her life in the trees. Readers will travel with her as she searches for food, escapes the clutches of a harpy eagle, and gives birth to a baby.

What I like about this book: Perezoso’s secret life high in the rainforest canopy fits in well with Pringle’s other books in the “secret life” series. He provides details that you might not otherwise ponder. For example: sloths have weak back legs. So when she is on the ground, she needs to have strong front arms that can pull her along on her belly. And algae grows on her hair. And moths and beetles and other tiny creatures make their home in her fur – some of them snacking on the algae.

I like that this book ends the same way it begins – with Perezoso swimming in the river. And there is Back Matter! (You know I love back matter) This is where we learn what the sloth’s name means, and about fossils of giant sloths, and how hanging upside down affects the internal anatomy of an animal. We also learn how the slow, secret life of sloths is threatened by humans.

Beyond the Books:

Find out more about the brown-throated three-toed sloth. Here’s an article, and here’s another.

Get to know a sloth. One way is to visit a zoo where sloths live. Observe the sloth for a while. What kind of sloth is it? What is it doing? If it’s moving, figure out how long it takes to travel a certain distance.

Move like a sloth. Need inspiration? Here’s a video to get you moving… very …. slowly.

Today we're joining Perfect Picture Book Friday, an event where bloggers share great picture books at Susanna Leonard Hill's website. Review copy provided by the publisher.


  1. Sue, this sounds like a great book. I love sloths. THanks for highlighting it!

  2. One of my favorite critters! I can't resist that cover. That, and it's written by Larry Pringle. I'm sold!

  3. What a fun book. I have a 4 -year-old great nephew who'd love this book. Thanks for sharing. I gave him your book and it is a favorite!

  4. What a terrific sounding book. I think sloths are so cute. I would like now more about them. Thanks for the heads up.