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SLOTH & SQUIRREL IN A PICKLE by Cathy Ballou Mealey


by Cathy Ballou Mealey ; illustrated by Kelly Collier

Pub Date: May 4th, 2021
ISBN: 978-1-5253-0238-1
Publisher: Kids Can

An unlikely pair finds an enterprising approach to acquiring a vehicle.

Round-headed, flat-faced Sloth and small, wiry, gray Squirrel are friends. When Squirrel sees a tandem bike zip past their tree, he wants one immediately. He wants to “go FAST!” Sloth at first only opens an eye to see what’s up but goes along (“s-l-o-w-l-y”) to the bike shop with his friend. Squirrel and Sloth discover that bicycles are expensive, so they take on a job as pickle packers to earn enough to buy one. The pickle-packer manager, a magnificent blue-feathered peacock, is not impressed with their work. However, he pays them—mostly in pickles—and Sloth, the thinker to Squirrel’s doer, comes up with an idea that pays off. When Sloth’s tropical ice pop plops to the ground (because he eats very s-l-o-w-l-y), he invents a new treat. The success of their pickle-pop business means that Sloth and Squirrel can successfully address their need for speed in a way that doesn’t put Sloth to sleep. Mealey’s entertainingly silly, original plot includes plenty of dialogue and subtle wordplay, both visual and textual. Collier’s low-key palette and expressively droll cartoon characters keep each double-page spread lively. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Sure to tickle more than a few ribs.

(Picture book. 3-6)