Score One for the Sloths

Overview

"Score another one for Lester and Munsinger."  —Publishers Weekly
 
The sloths at Sleepy Valley Sloth School are content in their slothfulness. One day, a new sloth arrives, a go-getter, a mover and a shaker—which is to say she actually moves. The other sloths think she’s a pest, and she thinks they’re bores, that is until a real boar arrives—an official representative of S.O.S. (Society for Organizing Sameness) sent to close the...

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Score One for the Sloths

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Overview

"Score another one for Lester and Munsinger."  —Publishers Weekly
 
The sloths at Sleepy Valley Sloth School are content in their slothfulness. One day, a new sloth arrives, a go-getter, a mover and a shaker—which is to say she actually moves. The other sloths think she’s a pest, and she thinks they’re bores, that is until a real boar arrives—an official representative of S.O.S. (Society for Organizing Sameness) sent to close the school. Something has to be done, and all eyes turn to Sparky . . .

     This new addition to the Laugh-Along Lessons series focuses on the importance of being true to yourself. Includes a parent/teacher discussion guide and downloadable audio!

Sparky, a new energetic student at a sloth school, saves her lazy classmates when a wild boar from a government agency tries to shut the school down.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

An amusing, if decidedly sleepy, tale of sloths and the very relaxing atmosphere of their school-an institution thrown in jeporady by a bureaucrat of conventional stripe-from the hand-and-glove team behind Tacky the Penguin and Wodney Wat. Sleepy Valley Sloth School lives up to its name: nobody here but drowsy sloths. They snooze through their lessons-so do their teachers-through their recess, through their study hall. They sleep "until six o'clock when the custodian swept them out, and they rolled home.". . . One day a disruptive influence makes the scene: ayoung fireplug of a sloth named Sparky, who tries to light some fire under her classmates. . . "'What a bunch of bores.'" she signs. Then a real boar pushes through the door, an operative from the Society for Organizing Sameness, come to close the school for failing in all subjects. Sparky saves the school by dazzling the organization man with feats of reading, music, math, and poetry. Who says sloths are underachievers? They're being sloths, and just how many creatures have had their name elevated to a common adjective? Only Munsinger could so perfectly catch them in all their languid glory, from the opening page when they are quite literally "just hanging around" as loose-limbed and zonked-out as anything ever seen, to as nearly awake as a sloth can get while piled up in a heap trying to pay attention. And the belly laughs induced by Lester's words will Kirkus Reviews with Pointers

"Score another one for Lester and Munsinger, Readers will hope the sloths return for a rematch." —Publishers Weekly Publishers Weekly

"Lester’s laid-back text is packed with silly puns, and Munsinger’s hilariously detailed line-and-watercolor pictures express the delicious relaxation of Sleepy Valley Sloth School, where everyone, teachers and kids, literally hangs around." Booklist, ALA

Publishers Weekly
These propitiously paired collaborators (Hooway for Wodney Wat; Tacky the Penguin) again turn out a comic caper with a subtly delivered moral. Words and pictures set the scene with laugh-out-loud humor as readers meet the pajama-clad, somnambulistic students at Sleepy Valley Sloth School, which is perched on the branches of a tree. "Once in a while the teacher would remember his job and wake up with a lesson" in such demanding subjects as yawning, snoring and rolling over but most of the time "the class just slept." Instead of lunch hour there are "lunch three hours," followed by naptime, study hall (when the sloths fall asleep in a hammock or on the floor, their books covering their faces) and recess (which finds the classmates draped over a swing set, dozing). The dismissal bell rings at 3:00, yet it takes them until dusk to exit (the custodian finally sweeps them out with a broom). Enter Sparky, whose energy and spunk her new classmates find anything but contagious. However, when an inspector comes from the S.O.S. (Society for Organizing Sameness) in the Mammal District and threatens to close down the school, the sloths follow Sparky's cues to successfully perform the required tasks in such a way that they save their school without betraying their true nature. Score another one for Lester and Munsinger. Readers will hope the sloths return for a rematch. Ages 4-8. (Sept.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Publishers Weekly
An energetic and spunky new classmate is anything but contagious to the pajama-clad, somnambulistic students at Sleepy Valley Sloth School. "The propitiously paired collaborators behind Tacky the Penguin again turn out a comic caper with a subtly delivered moral," said PW. Ages 4-8. (Sept.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
This book is a wonderful story that truly defines the nature of the animals in a way a child can understand and enjoy. Sleepy Valley Sloth School, is a school where sloths do nothing all day except sleep and eat. About halfway through the book, Sparky, the perky sloth, comes to the school. The lazy sloths do not welcome her arrival until they find out that because of their poor academic performance, their school might be shut down. The entertaining story features wonderful illustrations. The book has relatively easy language, and it is probably aimed at an early elementary school level. Helen Lester does a great job of portraying the typical sloth as well as the atypical sloth. The story conveys a message to children readers about stereotypes: although sloths have a reputation for being lazy, some do not fit that image. The illustrations work wonderfully with the text to tell a story about one sloth that saved the day for the rest. 2001, Houghton Mifflin Company, Ages 4 to 8.
—Stephanie Richards
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-Everything is nice and peaceful at Sleepy Valley Sloth School, with the sloths content in their slothfulness, until Sparky arrives. She is, just as her name would indicate, full of energy, and decidedly unslothlike: "Let's read a story! Hey, we could use a little music!" She soon dubs her classmates "a bunch of bores," as they try to ignore her and continue to nap. When a representative of the S.O.S. (Society for Organizing Sameness)-"a real boar"-arrives to close the school because of its low test scores, it is up to Sparky to save the day. Somehow Munsinger manages to make sloths endearing. The illustrations add delightful comic details that build on the text. For example, the classroom is decorated with the sloths' artful crayon renderings of a pillow, bed, and recliner and the chalkboard reveals they have been counting sheep for the math lesson. The day's schedule lists "nothing" for both the morning and afternoon. Though fans of the Lester/Munsinger team will at least want to consider this one, it is not as successful as Hooway for Wodney Wat (Houghton, 2001). Some of the story lacks logic; it is unclear if anything will change for Sparky after she tricks the boar and the school is allowed to continue. Will she be just as bored with her fellow students or will she become more slothlike? While the art is great, the text relies on easy laughs, perhaps at the expense of the story.-Robin L. Gibson, Perry County District Library, New Lexington, OH Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
An amusing, if decidedly sleepy, tale of sloths and the very relaxing atmosphere of their school-an institution thrown in jeopardy by a bureaucrat of conventional stripe-from the hand-and-glove team behind Tacky the Penguin and Wodney Wat. Sleepy Valley Sloth School lives up to its name: nobody here but drowsy sloths. They snooze through their lessons-so do their teachers-through their recess, through their study hall. They sleep "until six o'clock when the custodian swept them out, and they rolled home." It was one contented educational establishment. One day a disruptive influence makes the scene: a young fireplug of a sloth named Sparky, who tries to light some fire under her classmates: " ‘Let's read a story! Hey, we could use a little music! Want to build a castle? Anyone for math? How about some poetry?' " No takers. " ‘What a bunch of bores,' " she sighs. Then a real boar pushes through the door, an operative from the Society for Organizing Sameness, come to close the school for failing in all subjects. Sparky saves the school by dazzling the organization man with feats of reading, music, math, and poetry. Who says sloths are underachievers? They're being sloths, and just how many creatures have had their name elevated to a common adjective? Only Munsinger could so perfectly catch them in all their languid glory, from the opening page when they are quite literally "just hanging around" as loose-limbed and zonked-out as anything ever seen, to as nearly awake as a sloth can get while piled up in a heap trying to pay attention. And the belly laughs induced by Lester's words will keep everyone awake. (Picture book. 3-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780544324053
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 2/3/2015
  • Series: Laugh-Along Lessons Series
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 1,470,797
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Helen Lester and Lynn Munsinger have been together through thick and thin since first publishing The Wizard, the Fairy, and the Magic Chicken in 1983. They have collaborated on the hilarious Tacky the Penguin series and many other wildly funny and popular titles, including the award-winning Hooway for Wodney Wat. Helen Lester is a full-time writer who makes her home in New York, and Lynn Munsinger is a full-time illustrator living in Vermont.

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