The Best Children’s Books About Sloths: From Fact-Filled to Lesson-Inspired

Written by Angie Menjivar
Updated: May 27, 2024
© Janossy Gergely/Shutterstock.com

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Best forProduct
Best OverallThe Ultimate Sloth Book for Kids
Best Board BookHurry, Hurry, Little Sloth
Best Solution-BasedSensory Seeking Sloth
Best Fictional StorySloths Don’t Run
Best Interactive BookMom I Wrote A Book About You

The always-smiling faces, curved toes, and upside-down hangs are characteristic of sloths and many children have discovered just how amazing they are. If you’re looking for the best children’s books about sloths, you’ll find them in this list. There are fact-filled books that deliver a foundational understanding for curious kids and there are fiction books with adorable sloth illustrations. These keep kids intrigued and following along to understand a deeper message. There are interactive books and some focus on addressing a specific issue while keeping a solution-focused attitude.

Over the last two years, the entire world slowed down. We went from the regular hustle and bustle of life to some chaos and finally some surrendering into a much more slow-paced lifestyle. For some, this was a reprieve. Others got antsy. But anyone with kiddos at home got to appreciate so many more priceless minutes usually spent apart during the day. There was an opportunity to enjoy the slower ride, bask in precious moments, and appreciate all that surrounds you. This is the lesson that sloths teach. It’s a lesson we all need reminders of — to slow down and move at your own pace. 

  1. The Ultimate Sloth Book for Kids
    • Features more than 100 fascinating sloth facts
    • Includes quizzes and word searches
    • Features stunning photos
    Check Chewy
  2. Hurry, Hurry, Little Sloth
    • A playful story that teaches a lesson about taking your time to enjoy the little things in life
    • Has a bookplate for personalization
    • Customers rate this book 4.8 out of five stars
    Check Amazon
  3. Sensory Seeking Sloth
    • Great book for children with sensory processing disorders
    • Explains sensory cravings like fidgeting or making loud noises
    • Customers rate this book 4.7 out of five stars
    Check Amazon
  4. Sloths Don't Run
    • Learn the true meaning of courage in this boldly-colored book about two sloths
    • Appropriate for kids between one and four years of age
    • Customers rate it 4.8 out of five stars
    Check Amazon
  5. Mom I Wrote A Book About You
    • Great Mother's Day gift
    •  With this book, you can help your favorite kiddo honor their mom in a cute and memorable way
    • Customers rate this book 4.4 out of five stars
    Check Amazon

A-Z Animals Top Picks for Children’s Books About Sloths

#1 Best Overall: The Ultimate Sloth Book for Kids by Jenny Kellett

Our selection as the best overall is The Ultimate Sloth Book for Kids by Jenny Kellett.

This book is available in hardcover and paperback versions and is perfect if you have a kiddo that has fallen in love with sloths. The non-fiction author, Jenny Kellett, delivers the most intriguing sloth facts that kids enjoy. Your kiddo gets over 100 incredible sloth facts, several super cute photos, a quiz, and even a bonus word search puzzle. This book is designed to help kids get completely immersed and fascinated by the world of sloths.

The young reader in your life can enjoy 79 pages of sloth facts. For example, your kiddo can learn that sloths swim faster than they can walk. They also carry an entire ecosystem of bugs in their fur. Two-toad and three-toed sloths, despite their names, all have three toes on their feet. There are over 20 pictures of sloths as well and some really fun illustrations. Really young readers can enjoy this book alongside an adult or older sibling and older readers can enjoy some of the more in-depth scientific facts.

Pros and Cons of The Ultimate Sloth Book for Kids by Jenny Kellett

ProsCons
This book contains more than 100 fascinating facts about sloths.None
It features more than 20 sloth pictures.
It includes quizzes and a word search puzzle.
There are paperback and hardcover editions available.
Best Overall
The Ultimate Sloth Book for Kids
  • Features more than 100 fascinating sloth facts
  • Includes quizzes and word searches
  • Features stunning photos
Check Chewy

2. Best Board Book: Hurry, Hurry, Little Sloth by Joe Rhatigan (Author) and Jacqueline East (Illustrator)

If you have a baby or toddler at home, you know you need a durable board book. Therefore, we recommend Hurry, Hurry, Little Sloth by Joe Rhatigan (Author) and Jacqueline East (Illustrator).

This is a soft baby board book with a padded cover. Inside, there is rhyming text with a playful story that teaches a lesson about taking your time to enjoy the little things in life. All of the illustrations are bright, colorful, and heartwarming. In the book, everyone keeps telling the little sloth to hurry but as you know, sloths take their time. The book teaches a lesson that when you take the time to smell the flowers, you can really appreciate everything that surrounds you.

Your young reader can grasp the lesson that moving at your own pace always garners the best results. There’s so much to discover in life and when you’re rushing, it’s so easy to miss it all. When you receive this book, you see that it has a bookplate for personalization. You can enter the child’s name to make the gift feels that much more special. It’s 24 pages long and it’s part of Little Hippo Books, which are padded board books that you can start a collection of.

Unfortunately, some customers reported that they received a damaged book.

Pros and Cons of Hurry, Hurry, Little Sloth by Joe Rhatigan (Author) and Jacqueline East (Illustrator)

ProsCons
This is a board book with a padded cover.Some customers received a damaged book.
It features a playful story that is written with rhyming text.
It includes bright and colorful illustrations.
It teaches an important lesson about taking your time to enjoy the little things in life.
Best Board Book
Hurry, Hurry, Little Sloth
  • A playful story that teaches a lesson about taking your time to enjoy the little things in life
  • Has a bookplate for personalization
  • Customers rate this book 4.8 out of five stars
Check Amazon

3. Best Solution-Based: Sensory Seeking Sloth by Jennifer Jones

If you have a kiddo with a sensory processing disorder or you would like your child to become acquainted with what a sensory processing disorder is then Sensory Seeking Sloth by Jennifer Jones is a great book featuring a sloth.

If you’ve noticed that your child or someone you know displays sensitivity to textures, sounds, lights, movements, smells, or any other sensations, this could be over-responsivity. On the other hand, under-responsivity points to a lack of responsiveness.

The author explains sensory cravings like fidgeting or making loud noises along with sensory motor-based problems like poor handwriting and slow movement. The idea for this book is to present a solution that helps children understand what Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) is. It also presents a sensory diet that delivers the types of tools and resources children can use. For example, some of the sensory diet activities suggested include yoga or exercise, playing with sensory bins, jumping on a trampoline, going swimming, or eating something crunchy.

Pros and Cons of Sensory Seeking Sloth by Jennifer Jones

ProsCons
This book explains about sensory cravings and sensory motor-based problems.None
It helps children understand what Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) is.
It includes a sensory diet that children can use.
Best Solution-Based
Sensory Seeking Sloth
  • Great book for children with sensory processing disorders
  • Explains sensory cravings like fidgeting or making loud noises
  • Customers rate this book 4.7 out of five stars
Check Amazon

4. Best Fictional Story: Sloths Don’t Run by Tori McGee (Author) and Roksolana Panchyshyn (Illustrator)

If you’re looking for a good fictional story about sloths for your little one then look no further than Sloths Don’t Run by Tori McGee (Author) and Roksolana Panchyshyn (Illustrator).

For a fun fiction book, you can pick up this book in hardcover, paperback, or Kindle versions. Within this boldly colored book, there’s a story about two rainforest creatures. They go on an unlikely adventure to run The Great Rainforest Race. Although it seems impossible for the pair, they realize that as long as they work hard, they can accomplish what they set out to. Along the way, they learn the true meaning of courage. The book is filled with fun, bouncy rhymes that make reading out loud fun! The underlying message is inspirational so that any child who comes across this book can learn that you can accomplish your dreams so long as you remain steadfast.

The only drawback to this book is that it does feature a few spelling mistakes which detract from what is otherwise a great story.

Pros and Cons of Sloths Don’t Run by Tori McGee (Author) and Roksolana Panchyshyn (Illustrator)

ProsCons
This book includes rhymes to make reading out loud fun.There are some spelling mistakes in the book.
It features bright illustrations.
It has an inspirational message and teaches children that they can accomplish their dreams.
Best Fictional Story
Sloths Don't Run
  • Learn the true meaning of courage in this boldly-colored book about two sloths
  • Appropriate for kids between one and four years of age
  • Customers rate it 4.8 out of five stars
Check Amazon

5. Best Interactive Book: Mom I Wrote A Book About You by Mommy Sloth Books

In our opinion, the best interactive book is Mom I Wrote A Book About You by Mommy Sloth Books.

This book is a little bit different because it’s interactive and it’s not the type of book your kiddo gets to keep. It’s more of a gift that your child gets to interact with before passing it on to his or her mom. Moms don’t deserve just one day out of the year because their work is tireless. With this book, you can help your favorite kiddo honor their mom in a cute and memorable way with this personalized gift. It’s a prompt journal where kids can write memories and different stories. It also includes several fun activities like poetry writing, coloring, and plenty of free spaces for drawings and adding photos.

Some of the prompts include “I love you because…” and they give a child an opportunity to reflect on all the reasons they love their mom. Moms feel will feel overjoyed when they get a chance to read through it, as can always have it to turn to, even as the years pass by.

Pros and Cons of Mom I Wrote A Book About You by Mommy Sloth Books

ProsCons
This book is a prompt journal that children can write in.None
Children can add to this book before passing it along.
It includes fun activities such as poetry writing and coloring.
Best Interactive Book
Mom I Wrote A Book About You
  • Great Mother's Day gift
  •  With this book, you can help your favorite kiddo honor their mom in a cute and memorable way
  • Customers rate this book 4.4 out of five stars
Check Amazon

Criteria: What to Look For in Books About Sloths

You can see that there is a wide range of options when it comes to children’s books about sloths. You don’t have to settle for anything run-of-the-mill because there is always a new writer collaborating with an illustrator to create something unique.

Type

Consider the type of book you’d like to gift the young reader in your life. Do you feel they could benefit from a lesson-inspired book? If you’ve noticed they’re going through something difficult and need a bit of inspiration, pick up a book with a little more weight that delivers a beautiful message in an easy-to-understand way. If your kiddo is more science-minded and just wants to gorge on all the sloth facts they can find, then pick up a fact-filled book to keep them entertained page after page.

Illustrations vs. Photographs

Fiction books tend to incorporate fun illustrations that serve as mini works of art on each page. These can be endearing, helping your child follow along with the story. However, some kids may just want to see the real thing! If that’s the case, make sure you pick up a non-fiction book packed with plenty of pictures of real sloths so your child can remain engaged.

Difficulty

The reading level of a book should be challenging but not difficult for young readers. If the text is too advanced, your kiddo may lose interest or feel discouraged about reading. To ensure that you’re purchasing a book that empowers the child in your life, pick the right reading level and sit back to watch as they flourish and their love for reading increases!

The Different Types of Books About Sloths

There are a couple of different types of children’s books about sloths you can explore. You know to look for the right reading level and pick books with the types of illustrations or photographs your child enjoys. Below, we invite you to consider the different messages sloth books can impart.

Lesson-Inspired

Fiction stories give authors a lot of freedom to relay beautiful messages to children. The sooner children learn to embrace their individualities and honor their own paces, the more resilient and self-assured they are as they start walking through the world without you. Even children dealing with a specific issue like sensory processing disorder can lean on a sloth book that teaches them how to celebrate themselves, adjust, and enjoy a sensory diet!

Fact-Based

Fact-based books take a different approach than lesson-inspired books. They certainly offer plenty of educational content, but there is not a ton of freedom to venture out and incorporate life lessons. These books are geared toward scientific facts about real sloths and the environments they inhabit. They teach children about sloths’ anatomies, behaviors, and even about the full-on bug ecosystems living in their fur! These books provide your kiddo with the framework they need to understand what sloths are all about. One of these books paired with a fiction book delivers the best of both worlds.

Best forProduct
Best OverallThe Ultimate Sloth Book for Kids
Best Board BookHurry, Hurry, Little Sloth
Best Solution-BasedSensory Seeking Sloth
Best Fictional StorySloths Don’t Run
Best Interactive BookMom I Wrote A Book About You
About the Author

Angie Menjivar is a writer at A-Z-Animals primarily covering pets, wildlife, and the human spirit. She has 14 years of experience, holds a Bachelor's degree in psychology, and continues her studies into human behavior, working as a copywriter in the mental health space. She resides in North Carolina, where she's fallen in love with thunderstorms and uses them as an excuse to get extra cuddles from her three cats.

The Best Children’s Books About Sloths: From Fact-Filled to Lesson-Inspired FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Is a sloth a good pet?

Wild animals don’t make good pets. They depend on their natural environments to thrive. Yes, they’re slow and sleepy creatures that would love a good snuggle but their preferred place to lounge is up in a canopy surrounded by a tropical rainforest. Although other animals have adapted to domesticated living along with their human counterparts, that’s not the case for sloths.

Are sloths smart?

They’re slow, but not when it comes to intelligence! Yes, sloths are incredibly smart. To ensure their survival, they adapted to living out their lives in trees. They camouflage well and they know how to stay still, even when faced with a predator. They have survived over 10,000 years, demonstrating how adaptable and resilient they are.

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