Slow Loris


Written and Illustrated by Alexis Deacon

Kane/Miller, 2002

Slow Loris lived in a zoo though he didn’t care for it much.

Did You Know? A slow loris can grip so tightly that it can freeze in one position for hours while stalking prey.

Slow Loris is what everyone calls the main character, mostly because he is a slow loris, but also because he is extremely slow. It takes him a very long time to do just about anything and he spends most of his time sleeping. At least, that’s what all the visitors and other zoo animals think. But at night, when everyone is asleep, he does things super-fast to the point of exhaustion. One night, though, his secret comes out. And the next night, all the zoo animals come to see if the rumor is true. Sure enough, as soon as it gets really dark, Slow Loris comes out and they see that he is a party animal and not boring, like they thought. So they all party the night away together and are all exhausted in the morning, leaving them all slow the next day, just like Slow Loris.

This was the debut picture book from author/illustrator Alexis Deacon and it gave us a very clear idea of what we could expect from him in the books to come, with unusual characters drawn in dark colors. I love the idea of a slow loris being slow during the day because he’s worn out from hardcore goofing around all night and even more, I like that slow loris seems to be really happy to have all the other animals join in his nighttime partying. This book called to mind all those people I’ve known who seemed to have two totally different speeds for living their life.

Party aftermath

Now THAT was a party.

The overall color palette for this book is dark, with lots of browns and grays and very few other colors. When we learn that he does things fast at night, this is illustrated with a double-page spread showing a very blurry Slow Loris, as though someone tried to snap a picture of him and caught him mid-movement. It’s a cool effect, with a slightly creepy look to it that makes you wonder what he’s up to. Mr. Deacon makes him such an eclectic character in the pictures, with his fringed hat or his skinny green tie, showing that everyone is so much more than meets the eye.

And what did we learn? What I take away from this book is that no one is truly boring. They just aren’t showing you their most interesting side.


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