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Cover for Mervin the Sloth Is About to Do the Best Thing in the World

Mervin the Sloth Is About to Do the Best Thing in the World

Colleen AF Venable, Ruth Chan (Illustrator)


List Price: 17.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.


Mervin the Sloth is just standing there quietly when giant letters drop onto the page: “Mervin the Sloth is about to do the best thing in the world.” But what is the best thing in the world? What is Mervin about to do? 

It doesn’t take long for all of Mervin’s exuberant animal friends to barge in with their own ideas. Flying! Digging! Gazelling! Wait, gazelling? Is that even a word?

If only sloths weren’t so slow! Because maybe it’s something even better. But only Amy the red panda sticks around to see it.

This inventive picture book balances zany, pitch-perfect humor with warmth and heart—and irresistibly huggable animal characters. Fans of The Book with No Pictures and The Monster at the End of This Book will delight in the way it plays with form, makes you laugh out loud, and introduces us all to our new, very slow-moving best friend.

Praise For Mervin the Sloth Is About to Do the Best Thing in the World

“Mervin has top billing, but the real star of Venable’s semi-metafictional story is the title itself…The repartee…and Chan’s cartoon choreographing of the argumentative cast crackle with silly energy.” — Publishers Weekly

“A best thing, indeed. …Chan’s appealing, cartoon-style watercolor illustrations enhance the humor of the text throughout the picture book and employ a distinct, memorable style. A book to hug close and then share with a friend.” — Kirkus Reviews

“Emerging readers will delight in reading this metafiction narrative. ...The simple, distinguished watercolor illustrations create drama, and the details on every page invite repeated viewings. A fabulous choice for young readers and for storytime sharing.” — School Library Journal

Greenwillow Books, 9780062338471, 40pp.

Publication Date: September 13, 2016

About the Author

Colleen AF Venable is the author of the picture books The Oboe Goes Boom Boom Boom, Mervin the Sloth Is About to Do the Best Thing in the World, and Amy the Red Panda Is Writing the Best Story in the World. She is also the author of several graphic novels, including Katie the Catsitter, the Guinea Pig: Pet Shop Private Eye series, and Kiss Number 8, which was longlisted for the 2019 National Book Award. Colleen AF Venable lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Ruth Chan spent her childhood tobogganing in Canada, her teens living in and exploring China, a number of years studying art and education, and a decade working with youth and families in underserved communities. She now writes and illustrates in Brooklyn, New York, where she can often be found chatting with her neighbors. Visit for more info.