Saturday 9 September 2023

Super Sloth: The Shar-Wolf of New York City

Super Sloth: The Shar-Wolf of New York City written by Aleesah Darlison, illustrated by Cheri Hughes (Big Sky Publishing) PB RRP $14.99 ISBN 9781922896537

Reviewed by Sarah Tegerdine

Super Sloth: The Shar-Wolf of New York City is the latest publication from award-winning children’s author Aleesah Darlison. In this, the first episode, we are introduced to Romeo Fortez, a pygmy sloth from a remote tiny island in the Atlantic Ocean, called Escudo. Romeo is no ordinary sloth: his mother sensed it at his birth and again, the evening of his naming ceremony when dazzling mystical forces take place in the skies above.

Even though small in stature, Romeo stands out from all the other sloths on his island. He is speedier, craves exploration and adventure and is way cuter than other sloths. So much so, this cuteness has hypnotic superpowers and Romeo can cause entrancement from casting a simple smile.

His parents fear that Escudo and the island life just isn’t enough for Romeo: he is smarter, faster, and stronger and though he tries to play with the other sloths, he often plays with other animals. One day he over-hears a tourist speak about New York, the city that never sleeps and in that instant he knows destiny is calling.

New York is filled to the brim with humans and animals bustling shoulder to shoulder, pressing in around him and the noise is overwhelming. It pushes him to bound back away from the pavements and forces him to wonder what in the world he was thinking.

But then, Romeo finds himself by the famous Brooklyn Bridge and a gigantic half shark, half wolf creature appears with a girl in its paw, and he snaps into action to save her. Romeo isn’t the only one whose curiosity has been piqued by the beast. Romeo forms new friends and they team up to solve the mystery.

Super Sloth: The Shar-Wolf of New York City, is a super fun, super cute and a super charged junior fiction series for chapter book readers to revel and delight in. It’s a fast paced and highly entertaining read filled with plenty of laughs and gadgets to keep children hooked.

Cheri’s expressive black and white illustrations are the perfect accent to the story that feature throughout, so much so, watch out for Romeo’s hypnotic cute stare on page 9.

Recommended for ages 8 and up.

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