The call of nature prods a young three-toed sloth to go it alone.
Young Kyle, Thornhill informs readers, does everything at such a glacial pace that he needs to “go” only once a week. When that once-a-week urge rolls around, he is taken aback when his mother announces he can make the long trip from the rain forest canopy to the ground to do his duty all by himself. Kyle isn’t so sure, but he sets out, taking heart along the way from the encouragement of neighbors at various levels: a red-spectacled parrot, a whipsnake, a tiger-legged monkey tree frog, and a leafcutter ant. Sharp-eyed readers will notice Kyle’s mother, hidden behind leaves but keeping watch all the way down, in addition to the various named animals. Barron’s cut-paper collages feature crisp edges and textured, painted surfaces that hint at algae-covered sloth fur. Her palette for the foliage is dominated by light greens and blues, which doesn’t evoke the deep, emerald greens typically associated with the rain forest but does pick up Kyle’s odd, blue eyes. Several double-page spreads are oriented vertically, forcing readers to turn the book 90 degrees and emphasizing the great height from which Kyle descends. Two concluding notes provide further information on the alimentary system of the three-toed sloth and natural camouflage; Thornhill’s sources appear on the final page.
A startlingly informative alternative to the run-of-the-mill potty book. (Picture book. 3-7)