Sloth Slueth by Cyndi Marko is a cute mystery with stereotypical kid humor (sloths only poop once a week, so we see her mystery pondering and pooping on the ol’ commode). The story has the basic theme of a sloth trying to solve the question of who is trying to drive the café out of business by poisoning the customers, but young readers will get a kick out of it. They will also enjoy the fact that there is a slight difference to the characters. They are not every day, good people, but some of the worst criminals the world has ever seen. And by worse, I mean bad, really bad. Their crimes include trying to poison their boss with their poisonous venom, but learn they are just a slimy frog. The brain of the snake is a sock puppet that lives on the tail of same said snake. Stealing a food truck is the biggest heist a shark named Louie has completed. And then there is Paz, the Sloth. Well, nobody knows what she did, and she isn’t talking (most likely she’s sleeping).
The animals all live on an island that you only find if you know the way or are like the one human police officer and crash your boat onto it during a hurricane, or like the one human librarian who had their entire library Wizard of Oz onto the island (thankfully missing their local witch). They are all criminals, including a goldfish in a bag (she’s scary actually), Louie the shark, a flamingo, a rat who calls himself Mayor as he found a sash with Mayor written on it, a chicken named Rex (who is convince he has dinosaur blood in him) and a vulture. Not to mention, a very odd mysterious stranger/narrator who has a very real fake nose.
The ending is obvious to the adult, but ages high 6-7 to young 10-11 will be surprised. There are a few extras at the end, including facts about three-toed sloths. The artwork is very basic, simple details, colors shape things but are not overwhelming. It is just a fun book that will help get your child reading if they are not a reader, but also will keep the reader interested. And due to the way it ended, there should be a series as well.