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Reviewed by Louise Hurrell for Readers' Favorite
Sam The Speedy Sloth is a cute, fun picture book for younger readers. The rhyming couplets were a nice addition and helped make the reader become more engaged. The plot flowed along at a fast pace, meaning it never became dull. There is also a positive message in the story that children can learn from and appreciate. What makes Sam The Speedy Sloth stand out from other picture books is the wealth of information and activities that Matthew Ralph has created at the back of the book. There is a word search, games, and even fact sheets about the different animals mentioned in the plot. Even as an adult reader, I found these genuinely fascinating; there were some things mentioned that I didn’t know about said animals. The addition of the information and games help make younger readers become even more engaged, both in the story itself and in the natural world. It was a really cool segment and gave the book as a whole a boost.
But what use is a review of a picture book if I don’t discuss the pictures? The images in Sam The Speedy Sloth are illustrated by Khansadk and really complemented Matthew Ralph’s dialogue. The use of bold, bright blocks of color will attract and delight younger readers, as well as giving the animals more human expressions. It makes it easier to become attached to them, especially the titular Sam. Clearly, research has been done to accurately reflect the different environments the animals live in, which was a nice touch, and also meant a change of scenery stopped the images from becoming repetitive. Overall, Sam The Speedy Sloth is a great picture book for small children. With colorful pictures, a sweet story, and a bunch of fun activities, it will surely make animal lovers happy.