Hello, friends! Today’s book is Mervin The Sloth Is About To Do The Best Thing In The World, written by Colleen AF Venable and illustrated by Ruth Chan, a delightful silly and sweet story of anticipation.
Attention everyone: MERVIN THE SLOTH IS ABOUT TO DO THE BEST THING IN THE WORLD! Of course, Mervin is a sloth and moves quite slowly, so we’ll have to be patient while he works up to it. In the meantime, the announcement (via fourth-wall-breaking letters that appear from the sky) draws in Mervin’s fellow animals, all of whom eagerly wait for the momentous occasion while guessing what the “best thing” might be. The birds insists that it’s flying, the gazelle is sure that it’s “gazelleing,” and a slightly overzealous gopher is pretty darn sure it will be digging. But Mervin is taking a long time, and with the exception of Red Panda, the animals are starting to get bored. Finally losing interest, the group disbands, except for Red Panda, who finds that Mervin just wanted to give him a hug – because hugging your best friend is the greatest thing in the world.
This one was absolutely charming! The absurdist humor, the ridiculous dialogue of the animals (the story is almost entirely dialogue, so there’s lots of chances to play with different voices), the wonderfully sweet conclusion; everything fit together for a perfectly enjoyable story start to finish. The illustrations are fantastic, and fit the style and tone of the text perfectly. We especially loved the detail that the sedate Mervin is very slowly, page by page, lifting his arms for the climactic hug. The length is perfect for little ones, and JJ was laughing at the animals’ antics all the way through. This one is everything a picture book should be: funny, charming and sweet. Emphatically Baby Bookworm approved!