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Jeffrey and Sloth
     

Jeffrey and Sloth

by Kari-Lynn Winters, Ben Hodson (Illustrator)
 

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Jeffrey can't think of a thing to write, so he doodles instead, only to have his doodle begin to order him about. Jeffrey struggles with the situation until he discovers that the most strong-willed doodle is powerless against a well-told tale. Jeffrey and Sloth is bound to have children rushing for their colored pencils and their pens to see who and what they can

Overview

Jeffrey can't think of a thing to write, so he doodles instead, only to have his doodle begin to order him about. Jeffrey struggles with the situation until he discovers that the most strong-willed doodle is powerless against a well-told tale. Jeffrey and Sloth is bound to have children rushing for their colored pencils and their pens to see who and what they can create.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Kathie M. Josephs
A young boy just cannot get a good idea for writing assignment so he starts to doodle. As he is doodling, he begins talking to himself. He keeps saying he should focus on words and not the picture. He hears a voice telling him to forget about the words and realizes that the sloth in one of his pictures has come alive. By the end of the story, this child realizes that he has actually completed his homework assignment, and he is very happy with the end result. What a wonderful story! So many children (and adults for that matter) don't quite know how to get started on a writing project. This book provides a unique way of looking at the whole picture. The illustrations are just great and helped me feel exactly what the boy was feeling. Then ending says it all: "Yes!" he cheered. "Thanks to Sloth, his homework was done!" Jeffery beamed as he sketched a blanket and wrote: ……." In good conscience, I just cannot give you the whole ending. I know this picture book is meant for younger children, but the message is meant for all children. This book would make a great gift for a child—or for a teacher—who helps children to read and write. I loved it! Reviewer: Kathie M. Josephs
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz
When young Jeffrey is suffering from writer's block, he doodles a "round-bellied, long-armed sloth." As he tries to focus on the writing, the sloth seems to come alive and tell him to forget the words. "You're a lousy writer," the sloth taunts. He persuades Jeffrey to draw for him instead, first a chair and pillow; then, a blanket. Finally, Jeffrey begins to write about the sloth. He quickly discovers that the sloth has to do whatever he writes. So challenged, Jeffrey writes about the sloth digging, swimming, and searching through Canada, all for that elusive blanket. Exhausted, the sloth takes back all he said about Jeffrey's writing ability. Smiling and satisfied at last, Jeffrey draws him his blanket and finishes his story. Double-page scenes depict both Jeffrey's many doodles and the sloth's activities. Acrylic paints and colored pencils create light-hearted images of a cartoon-y boy and an athletic, hairy sloth, an unusual choice for a story. It's interesting both to compare the sketches with Hodson's more mature renderings and to reflect on the relationship between words and images. Perhaps this may encourage those stuck on a writing assignment when confronted with that blank sheet of paper as Jeffrey is.
School Library Journal

K-Gr 2- When Jeffrey sits down to write a story for his homework assignment, he is faced with a blank sheet of paper and a raging case of writer's block. He starts to doodle instead, eventually drawing a pudgy sloth. The animal comes to life and begins to taunt him about his writing skills. It doesn't take Jeffrey long to realize that the lazy animal just doesn't want him to write about anything strenuous for the sloth to do. He beats the creature (and his own inner critic) at its own game by sending it on an arduous fictional journey in search of the world's coziest blanket. By the time he finds it, Jeffrey's homework, and the story, is finished. The theme of the book, that one's imagination can lead to unexpected places, is not new; nor is the notion of drawings taking on a life of their own. Jeffrey and Sloth is a good read-aloud to introduce units on creative writing to children. The acrylic and colored-pencil cartoon illustrations of the sloth's imperative journey add an element of silly fun, though the text crowds them on some pages.-Rachael Vilmar, Eastern Shore Regional Library, MD

Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
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"A unique Canadian picturebook...Would make a good addition to primary school collections."
CM Magazine
"Will make readers laugh out loud...Bravo to both of its creators. Recommended."
Cheryl Rainfield's Children's Book Reviews
"Creative and fun."
Library Media Connection
"A good choice to include in a school library collection."

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781551439747
Publisher:
Orca Book Publishers
Publication date:
04/01/2008
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
942,416
Product dimensions:
8.80(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.20(d)
Lexile:
AD460L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Read an Excerpt

Jeffrey looked at the blank page. It glared back.

His ideas came slowly, and he found himself sketching a round-bellied, long-armed sloth.

"Focus on the words," Jeffrey muttered to himself.

"Just forget about the words," whispered a voice.

Jeffrey looked around, his eyes wide. "Who said that?"

What People are Saying About This

Cheryl Rainfield's Children's Book Reviews
Creative and fun.

Meet the Author

Kari-Lynn Winters teaches education at Brock University in Ontario. She has written many books for young children. For more information, visit www.kariwinters.com.

Ben Hodson illustrates mostly for children in books, magazines and textbooks. He is the 2004 recipient of the Glass Slipper Award from the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators' Canadian Conference. He does presentations and workshops at local schools and libraries. Ben lives in Ottawa, Ontario, with his wife May and his daughter Zoe. For more information, visit www.benhodson.ca.

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