From Publishers Weekly
A seemingly lethargic lemur proves appearances can deceive in this amusing tale. British newcomer Deacon subtly draws readers into Loris's supposedly sluggish zoo existence by using paintings awash in cheerless hues and small text peppered with ellipses. Three successive spreads track the lackadaisical fellow, noteworthy for their continual change in perspective: "It took Loris ten minutes to eat a satsuma... twenty minutes to get from one end of his branch to the other... and an hour to scratch his bottom." As Loris plods along his branch, the twisted bark spirals across the gutter towards the reader. Then comes a revelation: "At night, when all the other animals were sound asleep, Loris got up and did things... FAST..." Here Deacon devotes a spread to a close-up of Loris that resembles an out-of-focus photograph. He is not a lump after all, but a tie-and-hat-wearing, satsuma-eating nocturnal party animal. Other zoo animals soon catch on to Loris's secret life and join him in an unrestrained nighttime spree in which bunnies sport neckties and a meercat wears a fez. A quirky tale with an entertaining twist. Ages 4-8.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal
K Up-By day, a slow loris (an animal native to southern Asia) leads a quiet, some would say completely boring, existence in a zoo. At night, however, he comes to life and amazes the other animals with his energy and zest for fun. This slight story is primarily a vehicle for its strong graphic illustrations. The fact that a nocturnal animal would be more active at night than in the daytime does not seem startling or amazing, so the other animals' surprise at discovering Slow Loris's "secret" seems a bit far-fetched. The story veers into fantasy when the other zoo creatures join his party, donning "cool cat" hats and ties and striking jazz-musician poses. The dark tones of the paintings, many with thick black outlines, add to the atmosphere of mystery and secrecy. The layout is unusual and visually arresting. The illustrative point of view changes abruptly, one page folds out, another has a flap to lift. However, the dramatic illustrations create more interest in terms of design than in appeal to children. Teenagers might relate to this book-they may see themselves in Loris's love of nightlife and daytime sleeping as well as his sense of feeling misunderstood. While the reversal of preconceptions could inspire a writing exercise about judging others, this book may have a difficult time finding an audience.Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst, St. Christopher's School, Richmond, VA
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.