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Sylvia Finds a Way

A Book Review by OLWC Board Member, Mary Ratcliff

February 15th, 2023

Are you looking for a book to share with your young budding naturalists? You should check out the delightful new children’s book by Stephanie Shaw, Sylvia Finds a Way. Stephanie, a native Oregonian, has encountered many a slug in our Pacific Northwest forests and gardens and took her inspiration from watching them. 

The story is beautifully illustrated by Fiona Lee and features a silvery slime trail across the pages showing the path of Sylvia, a little brown slug who practices yoga and calligraphy while winding her way through her days.

Sylvia is a kind slug known for helping her friends who have many skills and abilities which she does not have. But with her calm and peaceful demeanor combined with respect for others she achieves her goal and even wins over the gardener who tends the garden plot which Sylvia and her friends seek to harvest. Children can practice the yoga poses Sylvia demonstrates which makes this book particularly fun to read together. And adults can learn more about the value of slugs in our ecosystem through the factual notes the author provides.

Sylvia Finds a Way was selected by The Oregon State Literacy Association as one of five books in the coveted Pat Gallagher Children’s Choice Award (winner to be announced in May, 2023). The Oregonian said in their review that this work is one of ‘the most Oregonian books’ ever. This is a book that young readers will enjoy for the ages.

So who knew that a slug could be so fun and teach us so much?