Cover image for The slowest book ever
The slowest book ever
First edition.
Physical Description:
176 pages : color illustrations ; 21 cm
Reading Level:
940 L Lexile
Added Author:
Discover surprising facts about anything and everything slow.


Material Type
Call Number
Item Available
Book J 031.02 SAY 1 1

On Order



"This is a S-L-O-W book. Do not read it while surfing, water skiing, or running to escape giant weasels..."

April Pulley Sayre's wry, quirky storytelling tone shines from the warning on the first page right through to the glossary at the end. In between, readers will explore an astounding variety of information about all things slow--in nature, geology, art, outer space, etc. Throughout, The SLOWEST Book EVER playfully encourages readers to slow down and savor everything. As Sayre shows: "If you think slowly enough, the entire world is amazing." This innovative nonfiction work is a treasure trove of information that begs for multiple readings.

Author Notes

April Pulley Sayre is an award-winning author of over 55 natural history books for children and adults, including the popular Rah, Rah, Radishes! , Stars Beneath Your Bed (an ALA Notable Book), Eat Like a Bear (an ALA Notable Book), and Vulture View (a Geisel Honor book). Sayre and her husband live in South Bend, Indiana. Visit

Kelly Murphy has illustrated numerous picture books and chapter books, including Face Bug , the New York Times Best Seller Masterpiece, and the Nathaniel Fludd, Beastologist book series. She teaches at the Rhode Island School of Design and lives in Providence, Rhode Island.

Reviews 4

Publisher's Weekly Review

For kids accustomed to a fast-moving world, this celebration of slowness may be just the ticket. Sayre (Woodpecker Wham!) explores the topic within the context of broad categories, making the focus not exclusively about slowness, per se, but about the invisible or unnoticed geological and biological processes constantly occurring around (and within) us. Two-color cartoons from Murphy (the Anton and Cecil series) dominate each spread as Sayre addresses slow-moving animals and slow-growing organisms, human processes such as breathing and sleep, the 2,000-year construction of the Great Wall of China, space exploration, and more. Presenting big concepts in an inviting, eye-catching format, Sayre leaves readers with the message that "if you think slowly enough, the entire world can be amazing." Ages 8-12. Author's agent: Emily Mitchell, Wernick & Pratt Agency. (Apr.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Horn Book Review

This book, a tribute to the attribute of slowness, presents multiple examples of occurrences that embrace a slow pace: growth of sequoia trees, formation of coral reefs, geological and biological growth and decay, and movement of sloths and snails. Inquisitive readers will appreciate the witty tone as well as the wealth of fascinating trivia. Cartoon-style drawings add humor and energy. Glos., ind. (c) Copyright 2016. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Booklist Review

In this age of fast food, fast cars, and fast technology, Sayre urges readers to slow down. Divided into such broad categories as animals, plants, geology, outer space, body, arts, and stuff, she presents unusual facts and commentary about some of the slowest creatures and phenomena on the planet and beyond. Some facts are straightforward, like the agave plant that takes 10 to 25 years to bloom (then dies!), or how a mountain of hard granite only erodes 1 inch in 10,000 years. Other facts are more whimsical, such as the job of Keith Jackson, who had the task of watching paint dry and recording the times, or that humans sleep about a third of their lives. Throughout this hodgepodge, accompanied by lively orange illustrations that keep readers awake, the author encourages children to take on a slower pace in life by being more observant, thoughtful, and creative. She takes her own advice by making the typically boring glossary (chewy words) and not-exactly-the-end-notes engaging parts of the book. Speed readers not welcome.--Leeper, Angela Copyright 2016 Booklist

School Library Journal Review

Gr 3-7-Science and nature rub shoulders with pop culture and history in Sayre's ode to slowness. Brief entries are loosely organized around topics such as plants, the body, and geology and describe the hows and whys. From Great Basin bristlecone pine trees that can live 3,200 years to television stations that show 12 uninterrupted hours of firewood burning, the examples that Sayre presents offer plenty of opportunity to readers to slow down, take a second look at things that might otherwise be overlooked, and think about some chewier topics, both big and small but always slow. The tone is humorous but never silly, and the facts are backed up with sources and more details in the endnotes. The light tone and engaging writing are perfectly complemented by the pen-and-ink drawings that accompany every entry, and the design invites lingering and sharing. VERDICT Students will love picking up and carrying this volume around to read and think about in free moments; a great addition for most libraries.-Jody Kopple, Shady Hill School, Cambridge, MA © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.