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SLOTH WENT by Adam Lehrhaupt


by Adam Lehrhaupt ; illustrated by Benson Shum

Pub Date: June 2nd, 2020
ISBN: 978-1-5476-0245-2
Publisher: Bloomsbury

A young sloth successfully makes it.

Young Sloth has a lot of potty-training anxiety. His mom reassures him; an enthusiastic frog tells him “Just listen to your body and it will all work out”; and a friendly butterfly reminds him that even if he doesn’t succeed, it’s OK—“As long as you keep trying.” He slowly descends his tree, scurries to a special pooping spot (comically marked with an X), goes, and makes it back home in one piece. There’s no mention of bodily functions in the text, just a lot of sly references to taking “care of business” or how “it” will “come out fine.” The only clue prior to the author’s note is the tagline on the cover: “sometimes a little poop can be a big adventure.” The engaging backmatter explains more about sloth biology and lifestyle habits, clearing up any lingering questions about the protagonist’s motivations and actions. The constipated hero is extremely endearing, with a personality-filled stub of a tail and an endlessly expressive face, but the story risks young children missing the point, with no direct references to sloth’s predicament; even the final payoff is buried before readers can get a glimpse of his hard work! Sadly, adult sensibilities seem to be privileged over kids’ age-appropriate fascination with all things bathroom.

This story revolves around poop while avoiding gross-out humor—and, perhaps, readers’ comprehension.

(Picture book. 3-6)