The Adventures of Dr. Sloth

Rebecca Cliffe and Her Quest to Protect Sloths

  • Interest Level: Grade 3 - Grade 6
  • Reading Level: Grade 3

True or false: Sloths are lazy. Answer: False! True or false: Sloths are mysterious. Answer: True! Scientists are only beginning to discover how sloths live in the wild.

Sloths spend most of their lives in trees, and until recently scientists didn’t know very much about them. But Dr. Rebecca Cliffe was determined to discover their secrets. To find out more, she fitted sloths with special backpacks containing a device to track their activity. She learned how to climb trees in the Costa Rican jungle so she could take sloth hair samples and test their DNA. And she’s helped create sloth crossings and plant trees to ensure the sloths aren’t trapped in shrinking territories. Along the way, she earned the nickname Dr. Sloth.

Discover the story of how an animal-loving kid in England grew up to become one of the world’s leading sloth scientists, and learn how Dr. Sloth is using her discoveries to help keep sloths safe. Author and professional wildlife photographer Suzi Eszterhas brings readers up close to the action with engaging text and fantastic photos. Scan QR codes throughout the book to see her videos of sloths in the wild!

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Interest Level Grade 3 - Grade 6
Reading Level Grade 3
Genre Science
Category 5 Kinds of Nonfiction, 5KN: Narrative Nonfiction, Animals, STEM, STEM: Life Science/Animals
Copyright 2022
Publisher Lerner Publishing Group
Imprint Millbrook Press ™
Language English
Number of Pages 40
Publication Date 2022-04-05
Text Type Narrative Nonfiction
BISACS JNF007090, JNF003140, JNF051150
Dewey 599.3/13
Dimensions 10.625 x 8.875
Lexile 1040
Guided Reading Level S
Features Author/Illustrator biography, Awards, Bibliography/further reading, Glossary, Index, Page Plus™, and Reviewed

Author, Photographer: Suzi Eszterhas

Suzi Eszterhas is an award-winning wildlife photographer best known for her work documenting newborn animals and family life in the wild. Her photographs have been published in over 100 magazine cover and feature stories in publications such as TIME, Smithsonian, BBC Wildlife, GEO, Popular Photography, Ranger Rick, and National Geographic Kids. Suzi has won awards in many competitions including the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition, National Wildlife Photo Contest, and Environmental Photographer of the Year Competition. She now serves as the jury chair for the prestigious Big Picture Natural World Photography Competition. She has published 19 books and is based in California.

The Adventures of Dr. Sloth: An Interview with Author and Photographer Suzi Eszterhas

Did you know that a sloth baby will stay with its mother for up to 12 months? Discover the mysterious lives of sloths with scientist Dr. Rebecca Cliffe and photographer Suzi Eszterhas in the new middle grade nonfiction The Adventures of Dr. Sloth: Rebecca Cliffe and Her Quest to Protect… View →


  • Texas Topaz Nonfiction Reading List, Winner, 2024
  • Orbis Pictus Award Recommended Book, Commended, 2023
  • Green Earth Book Award Recommended Reading, Commended, 2023
  • Children's Book Committee at Bank Street College Best Children's Book of the Year, Winner, 2023


Children's Literature Comprehensive Database (CLCD)

“[A] fascinating biography laced with compelling information about an animal that has great appeal and innate value.” –Children’s Literature

School Library Journal

“[A] delightful addition to any library, helping readers not just to understand sloths, but to understand why safeguarding them and their habitats is critical.”—School Library Journal


“Eszterhas offers a fascinating glimpse at the work of a scientist currently active in her field. . . . Kids passionate about animal conservation will love this.”—Booklist