Master collage artist Eric Carle -- author of such bestsellers as The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? -- slows it down and wins us over with a blissfully slothful message about taking life more casually.
In dazzling tissue paper scenes of a busy Amazon rainforest, we meet the quiet sloth, who doesn't worry at all about rushing through his day: "Slowly, slowly, slowly, a sloth crawled along a branch of a tree. Slowly, slowly, slowly, the sloth ate a leaf." Numerous jungle animals fly into his tree or pass by underneath, but the sloth spends all his time just hanging upside down, without a care. Eventually a few animals get curious and pose some pointed questions -- such as the howler monkey, who asks, "Why are you so slow?" and the jaguar's inquiry, "Why are you so lazy?" After some "long, long, long" thought, the sloth finally gives an answer that's as smart as a whip and peacefully smooth.
Carle wows audiences again with his bright, spare artwork and uncomplicated text. His style suits the theme wonderfully, and readers with busy schedules will nod in understanding as they reflect on the creature's leisurely manner. Other wonderful features include zoologist Jane Goodall's foreword about sloths, which provides a helpful framework about animal protection and the environment, and the final endpaper that gives the names of jungle animals found in the book. A welcome picture book for a hurried world, this relaxing read will have children saying, "Ahhhh." Matt Warner