Fun and colorful illustrations (co-illustrated with Jenny Dang) complement Miriam Kay’s unique, clever children’s tale of Stanley and Sydney Sloth, two creatures who love nothing more than sitting in front of the television watching their favorite shows and consuming snacks. The sloths let their house become a messy, odorous disaster as they watch TV day after day. Their inactivity results in a “stupor” until one afternoon Sydney suggests doing something other than constantly staring at screens. Stanley seconds the idea, and soon the pair start cleaning their house until it “sparkles.” Their cleaning success prompts them to venture outdoors, playing and trying new things as they go. The sloths soon realize that engaging in various activities is much more fun than sitting around, and make a habit of doing instead of simply being.
THE SOFA SLOTHS conveys a message to children that is more essential than ever. Unlike previous generations, kids today frequently find themselves surrounding by television, computer, tablet, and phone screens. And while all of these devices provide learning opportunities through educational games and the like, they also promote sedentary lifestyles. Encouraging children to go outside, explore the world around them, and learn new things instead of always relying on screens is a wonderful message for parents to emphasize to their little ones. Excessive screen time does not always help children develop their imaginations and come up with exciting worlds of make-believe they can apply to situations later in life. It subsequently stifles their creativity in addition to decreasing physical activity levels, something children (and everyone else) need to maintain strong, healthy bodies and minds.
Yet another fabulous aspect of THE SOFA SLOTHS is the alliteration throughout the story. Kay uses s-words on every page to create a singsong-like effect that also helps children learn new words. While most children’s books eschew longer words, Kay includes “stagnated,” “significant,” “sashayed,” “spectacular,” “sauntered,” and plenty of other challenging terms to help expand children’s vocabularies. And what is reading without learning new words?
THE SOFA SLOTHS is a gem of a children’s book with fun illustrations, great word play, and a timeless message. It makes an outstanding addition to any children’s library and will no doubt become a household favorite.
~Kent Page McGroarty for IndieReader