The Slowest Book Ever

BMP_1783_CS 1P.inddWritten by April Pulley Sayre, Illustrated by Kelly Murphy


As you can guess, this book has to do with things that are slow — particularly things in nature and science. Sayre encourages the reader to think slowly, move slowly, and see the world from a new perspective. I gave one of her challenges a try and if I moved at the speed of a snail (10 seconds/inch), it would take me 5 minutes to take one step! There so many fun “slow” facts: the slowest bird is a woodcock, who can fly so slow it will plummet out of the sky; the slowest song will take 639 years to finish; it can take 3-4 weeks to make old-fashioned sauerkraut; and many more. There is an extra section at the back that discusses more “slow” stuff. A very enjoyable book for all ages.

Review by Teresa Edmunds, Westbrook Elementary Media Center
Rating: ★★★★✩ (4 stars)
Interest Level: 3-8

This is one of those books that you could spend a lot of time reading, and absorbing fascinating information that would make great conversational topics and inspire experiments that would be fun, funny, and educational. It begins by explaining the differences in time perception across species. For example, why does a fly easily escape a fly swatter, or why time seems to fly when you are having fun but takes forever if you are waiting for something.

There is a different example on each page layout of something that is relevant to the passage of time, for example how quickly objects decay, or how a slow moving sea snail’s teeth have been proven to be made from the strongest material on earth, replacing the previously thought spider silk. Or how a hummingbird has the fastest moving wings of any bird, yet it can hover and move 0 miles per hour…. making it technically the slowest moving. Conundrums. That is what this book is full of. Interesting facts that make sense thought of in an entirely different concept.

The examples encourage experiments as well. For example, ask a young person to guess how long a minute is (time them and record actual passage of time), and then do the same with an older person.
The book is a great size! At 6”X8 ½ “ it is not as cumbersome as similar non-fiction like Guiness or Ripley’s. With a black and white and orange color pallet it is rather unique and appealing to look at. I think the students will be fascinated, educated, and enthralled with this book.

Review by Terrie Bishop, Academy Park Media Center
Rating: ★★★★★ (5 stars)
Interest Level: 3-9

What an interesting book. It is written in an informative and interactive style. Great for conversations during a read aloud setting. Students will enjoy reading this book when they have a spare minute or two.

Review by Vanessa Eyre, Robert Frost Media Center
Rating: ★★★★✩ (4 stars)
Interest Level: 3-8

The Slowest Book Ever
Written by April Pulley Sayre, Illustrated by Kelly Murphy
Boyds Mills Press, an imprint of Highlights
x pages
Release Date: April 5, 2016
A review copy was provided by the publisher.

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2 thoughts on “The Slowest Book Ever”

  1. This looks like a fun one. Students who are forever checking out random fact and record books might be convinced to give it a try.

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