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"Slowly, Slowly, Slowly," Said the Sloth

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Overview

Slowly, slowly, slowly . . . that's how the sloth lives. He hangs upside-down from the branch of a tree, night and day, in the sun and in the rain, while the other animals of the rain forest rush past him. "Why are you so slow? Why are you so quiet? Why are you so lazy?" the others ask the sloth. And, after a long, long, long time, the sloth finally tells them!

Set in the lush world of the tropical rain forest, this original picture book is an exquisite showcase of Eric Carle's ...

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Overview

Slowly, slowly, slowly . . . that's how the sloth lives. He hangs upside-down from the branch of a tree, night and day, in the sun and in the rain, while the other animals of the rain forest rush past him. "Why are you so slow? Why are you so quiet? Why are you so lazy?" the others ask the sloth. And, after a long, long, long time, the sloth finally tells them!

Set in the lush world of the tropical rain forest, this original picture book is an exquisite showcase of Eric Carle's colorful collage art-with a meaningful message: Slow down! Take time to enjoy your world.

Challenged by the other jungle animals for its seemingly lazy ways, a sloth living in a tree explains the many advantages of his slow and peaceful existence.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
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

Publishers Weekly
With a preface by Jane Goodall, an emphasis on Amazon rain forest animals and Carle's bright, trademark collages, this book is sure to find a wide audience. All the animals in the rain forest watch as the sloth "slowly, slowly, slowly" crawls along a tree branch or "slowly, slowly, slowly" eats a leaf. "Why are you so slow?" they ask, "...so quiet, ...so boring?" The sloth does not answer until the jaguar asks why he is lazy. In the volume's densest chunk of text, the sloth replies with an unexpected barrage of adjectives, admitting that, while he is "sluggish, lethargic, placid, calm, mellow, laid-back and, well, slothful," he is "not lazy... that's just how I am. I like to do things slowly,/ slowly,/ slowly." The narrative's use of simple repeated phrases requires readers to ape the protagonist the text compels them to slow down. Colorful endpapers name all of the animals introduced in Carle's signature collage illustrations, with a setting particularly well-suited to his jewel-like palette. Children will readily identify with the hero's need to move at his own pace. The sweet, moss-covered sloth will especially appeal to rushed families who will find in Carle's attractive book a brief respite from their hurried lives. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal
As a sloth crawls along a branch, eats a leaf, sleeps, and awakens, echoing the languid tempo of its rain-forest life, Carle grabs readers' attention with a continuous procession of animals, revealing the diversity of their habitat. Anaconda, peccary, tapir, caiman, jaguar, toucan, and armadillo, among others, quietly observe the creature and gently disappear in a march of bold colors. Carle's art is at its best with a brightly colored selection of painted tissue-paper collage that captures 25 rain-forest denizens. Each page of text reinforces the sloth's slow pace, until it ends its silence and temporarily changes the measured text tempo in a lengthy paragraph (with 20 adjectives) explanation of his love for serenity. In an introduction, both Carle and zoologist Jane Goodall praise efforts to save the rain-forest habitat and slow the pace of today's hurried lifestyle. The artwork alone places this book as a treasured addition for all libraries.-Mary Elam, Forman Elementary School, Plano, TX Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
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.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399239540
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/28/2002
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 89,723
  • Age range: 1 - 3 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.43 (w) x 12.51 (h) x 0.36 (d)

Meet the Author

Eric Carle lives in Northampton, Massachusetts.

Biography

Ever since he began innovating the look and function of children's stories in the late 1960s, Eric Carle has remained an author whose stories reliably hit the bestseller lists and remain on kids' bookshelves through generations.

He began as a designer of promotions and ads, and one illustration of a red lobster helped jump-start his career. The lobster caught the eye of author Bill Martin, Jr.; Martin asked Carle to illustrate the now-classic 1967 title Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? and a career was born.

Born in Syracuse, New York but brought by his immigrant parents back to Germany when he was six, Carle was educated in Stuttgart and designed posters for the United States Information Center there after graduating from art school. He finally returned to the country he missed so much as a child in 1952.

He eventually began procuring work on children's titles, and found himself becoming increasingly involved in them. "I felt something of my own past stirring in me," he wrote in a 2000 essay. "An unresolved part of my own education needed reworking, and I began to make books -- books for myself, books for the child in me, books I had yearned for. I became my own teacher -- but this time an understanding one."

He began his career with the 1968 title 1, 2, 3 to the Zoo; but his next title, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, is what still endears him to young readers today. Employing his bright, collage style and lending an immediacy to the tale by manifesting the caterpillar's hunger in actual holes in the pages, Carle began what would be a long career of creative approaches to simple stories. From the chirp emerging from The Very Quiet Cricket to the delightful fold-out pages in Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me, Carle's books provide surprises that make his stories come alive in ways that many titles for preschoolers do not.

Carle's style, with its diaphanous, busy and bold artwork, is perfect for engaging new readers. His stories are also popular with parents and educators for their introductions to the natural world and its cycles. It's a particular pleasure to follow Carle into different corners of the world and see what can be learned from the creatures who live in them.

Good To Know

Regularly asked where he gets his ideas, Carle is quoted on his publisher's web site as responding: "Of course, the question of where ideas come from is the most difficult of all. Some people like to say they get ideas when they're in the shower. That's always a very entertaining answer, but I think it's much deeper than that. It goes back to your upbringing, your education, and so forth." He does say, however, that the idea for The Very Hungry Caterpillar came when he whimsically began punching holes in some paper, which suggested to him a bookworm at work. His editor later suggested he change the bookworm to a caterpillar, and the rest is history.

Carle was unhappy to be in Germany when his immigrant parents brought him back there as a child. He hated his new school and wanted to go back to America. He said: "When it became apparent that we would not return, I decided that I would become a bridge builder. I would build a bridge from Germany to America and take my beloved German grandmother by the hand across the wide ocean."

Before he became a freelance illustrator and began working on children's books, Carle worked as a graphic designer for the New York Times and as art director of an ad agency.

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    1. Hometown:
      Northampton, Massachusetts and the Berkshires
    1. Date of Birth:
      June 25, 1929
    2. Place of Birth:
      Syracuse, New York
    1. Education:
      Akademie der bildenden K√ľnste, Stuttgart, 1946-50
    2. Website:

Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 26, 2012

    Great book!

    This book sparked many question from my 3 year old. He wanted to know my the sloth moved so slow and what wrong with doing things fast. very interesting book with different points to discover.

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  • Posted December 13, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    There is no dillydallying for us!

    Great Book! Not only are Eric Carles illustrations fantastic, the the story is so sweet. I love reading this to our 2 year old because it shows him that moving slowly can be relaxing and tranquil! ;) I know he just loves the pictures of all the animals and he especially laughs at all the word that Eric Carle uses for lazy. The story behind this is awesome! Just because you move slowly, doesn't mean your lazy! Too Fun!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2002

    We all need to slow down!

    Relaxing sweet book of the sloths life and how he takes it very slowly. Great bedtime story. Calming and reassuring to little ones.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews

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