Sloth’s Treehouse Inn, by Carrie Hasler/Illustrated by Christina Wald, (Oct. 2022, San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance Press), $17.99, ISBN: 9781943198139
Deep in the Amazon rainforest, Santiago the Sloth is the innkeeper at The Treehouse Inn; it’s a place where residents of the forest can go to relax, hang around, and take long naps. As humans encroach on the rainforest, more and more animals find themselves seeking shelter at The Treehouse Inn, and Santiago worries that he’ll run out of room. Luckily, out of the destruction, a spark of hope shines through: Santiago sees humans working together to plant new plants and trees, to grow new trees and plants and give back some of the land taken away. Inspired by the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance and conservation partners working together to study and rejuvenate the Amazon rainforest, Sloth’s Treehouse Inn is a gentle story about a very real danger facing our planet: the decimation of our natural resources. Back matter includes a note on the work being done to save the rainforest, and information on how kids can help. Front endpapers list Amazon animal fun facts printed on giant leaves; back endpapers show animals of the rainforest on a picture taken from inside the story. Realistic artwork has a touch of cartoon softness to endear Amazon residents to children; deep natural colors dominate the scenery. Storytelling personifies the animals and creates investment in the plight of the rainforest and the animals who live there; by showing people working together to reinvest in the natural resources, readers understand that humans have the ability to help – it’s not a lost cause! A good selection for animal collections and an excellent choice for rainforest and biome collections for younger learners.