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“SLOWLY, SLOWLY, SLOWLY,” SAID THE SLOTH by Eric Carle Kirkus Star

“SLOWLY, SLOWLY, SLOWLY,” SAID THE SLOTH

By Eric Carle (Author) , Eric Carle (Illustrator)

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-399-23954-5
Publisher: Philomel

Carle (Dream Snow, 2000, etc.) branches out to feature a lesser-known yet fascinating animal in a paean to taking it easy. Appropriately soporific text recounts a sloth’s daily activities: sleeping, waking, eating, and hanging from a branch, all of which he does slowly, slowly, slowly. Despite the fact that hardly anything happens, this depiction of a day in the life of a sloth is never boring; riotous colors abound in Carle’s intricate painted-tissue, paper-collage jungle, which teems with life. Dozens of animals can be spotted among the vines, flowers, trees, and grass; a key at the end shows each creature and provides its name, encouraging readers to go back and look for them. A howler monkey, a caiman, an anteater, and a jaguar visit the sloth and ask him why he is so slow, so quiet, so boring, and so lazy. After thinking for a long, long time, sloth admits to being “slow, quiet and boring,” as well as “lackadaisical . . . unflappable, languid, stoic, impassive, sluggish, lethargic, placid, calm, mellow, laid-back and, well, slothful!” He is also a welcome example for all: “I am relaxed and tranquil, and I like to live in peace.” But he denies being lazy. A foreword by renowned zoologist Jane Goodall explains her fascination with sloths, and sets the stage for children’s burgeoning interest. There is room in everyone’s life for a little peace and quiet, and this introduction to an animal that is the epitome of tranquillity will be welcome at bedtime, or anytime. (Picture book. 4-8)