"Slowly, Slowly, Slowly," Said the Sloth

( 3 )

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 Young Readers Group
  • Publication date: 8/28/2002
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 171,170
  • Age range: 3 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.40 (w) x 12.60 (h) x 0.45 (d)

Meet the Author

Eric Carle

Eric Carle is acclaimed and beloved as the creator of brilliantly illustrated and innovatively designed picture books for very young children. His best-known work, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, has eaten its way into the hearts of literally millions of children all over the world and has been translated into more than 25 languages and sold over twelve million copies. Since the Caterpillar was published in 1969, Eric Carle has illustrated more than sixty books, many best sellers, most of which he also wrote.

Born in Syracuse, New York, in 1929, Eric Carle moved with his parents to Germany when he was six years old; he was educated there, and graduated from the prestigious art school, the Akademie der bildenden Kunste, in Stuttgart. But his dream was always to return to America, the land of his happiest childhood memories. So, in 1952, with a fine portfolio in hand and forty dollars in his pocket, he arrived in New York. Soon he found a job as a graphic designer in the promotion department of The New York Times. Later, he was the art director of an advertising agency for many years.

One day, respected educator and author, Bill Martin Jr, called to ask Carle to illustrate a story he had written. Martin's eye had been caught by a striking picture of a red lobster that Carle had created for an advertisement. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? was the result of their collaboration. It is still a favorite with children everywhere. This was the beginning of Eric Carle's true career. Soon Carle was writing his own stories, too. His first wholly original book was 1,2,3 to the Zoo, followed soon afterward by the celebrated classic, The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

Eric Carle's art is distinctive and instantly recognizable. His art work is created in collage technique, using hand-painted papers, which he cuts and layers to form bright and cheerful images. Many of his books have an added dimension - die-cut pages, twinkling lights as in The Very Lonely Firefly, even the lifelike sound of a cricket's song as in The Very Quiet Cricket - giving them a playful quality: a toy that can be read, a book that can be touched. Children also enjoy working in collage and many send him pictures they have made themselves, inspired by his illustrations. He receives hundreds of letters each week from his young admirers. The secret of Eric Carle's books' appeal lies in his intuitive understanding of and respect for children, who sense in him instinctively someone who shares their most cherished thoughts and emotions.

The themes of his stories are usually drawn from his extensive knowledge and love of nature - an interest shared by most small children. Besides being beautiful and entertaining, his books always offer the child the opportunity to learn something about the world around them. It is his concern for children, for their feelings and their inquisitiveness, for their creativity and their intellectual growth that, in addition to his beautiful artwork, makes the reading of his books such a stimulating and lasting experience.

Carle says: "With many of my books I attempt to bridge the gap between the home and school. To me home represents, or should represent; warmth, security, toys, holding hands, being held. School is a strange and new place for a child. Will it be a happy place? There are new people, a teacher, classmates - will they be friendly? I believe the passage from home to school is the second biggest trauma of childhood; the first is, of course, being born. Indeed, in both cases we leave a place of warmth and protection for one that is unknown. The unknown often brings fear with it. In my books I try to counteract this fear, to replace it with a positive message. I believe that children are naturally creative and eager to learn. I want to show them that learning is really both fascinating and fun."

Eric Carle has two grown-up children, a son and a daughter. With his wife Barbara, he lives in Northampton, Massachusetts. The Carles spend their summers in the nearby Berkshire hills.

copyright © 2000 by Penguin Group (USA) Books for Young Readers. All rights reserved.
Eric Carle is acclaimed and beloved as the creator of brilliantly illustrated and innovatively designed picture books for very young children. His best-known work, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, has eaten its way into the hearts of literally millions of children all over the world and has been translated into more than 25 languages and sold over twelve million copies. Since the Caterpillar was published in 1969, Eric Carle has illustrated more than sixty books, many best sellers, most of which he also wrote.

Born in Syracuse, New York, in 1929, Eric Carle moved with his parents to Germany when he was six years old; he was educated there, and graduated from the prestigious art school, the Akademie der bildenden Kunste, in Stuttgart. But his dream was always to return to America, the land of his happiest childhood memories. So, in 1952, with a fine portfolio in hand and forty dollars in his pocket, he arrived in New York. Soon he found a job as a graphic designer in the promotion department of The New York Times. Later, he was the art director of an advertising agency for many years.

One day, respected educator and author, Bill Martin Jr, called to ask Carle to illustrate a story he had written. Martin's eye had been caught by a striking picture of a red lobster that Carle had created for an advertisement. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? was the result of their collaboration. It is still a favorite with children everywhere. This was the beginning of Eric Carle's true career. Soon Carle was writing his own stories, too. His first wholly original book was 1,2,3 to the Zoo, followed soon afterward by the celebrated classic, The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

Eric Carle's art is distinctive and instantly recognizable. His art work is created in collage technique, using hand-painted papers, which he cuts and layers to form bright and cheerful images. Many of his books have an added dimension - die-cut pages, twinkling lights as in The Very Lonely Firefly, even the lifelike sound of a cricket's song as in The Very Quiet Cricket - giving them a playful quality: a toy that can be read, a book that can be touched. Children also enjoy working in collage and many send him pictures they have made themselves, inspired by his illustrations. He receives hundreds of letters each week from his young admirers. The secret of Eric Carle's books' appeal lies in his intuitive understanding of and respect for children, who sense in him instinctively someone who shares their most cherished thoughts and emotions.

The themes of his stories are usually drawn from his extensive knowledge and love of nature - an interest shared by most small children. Besides being beautiful and entertaining, his books always offer the child the opportunity to learn something about the world around them. It is his concern for children, for their feelings and their inquisitiveness, for their creativity and their intellectual growth that, in addition to his beautiful artwork, makes the reading of his books such a stimulating and lasting experience.

Carle says: "With many of my books I attempt to bridge the gap between the home and school. To me home represents, or should represent; warmth, security, toys, holding hands, being held. School is a strange and new place for a child. Will it be a happy place? There are new people, a teacher, classmates - will they be friendly? I believe the passage from home to school is the second biggest trauma of childhood; the first is, of course, being born. Indeed, in both cases we leave a place of warmth and protection for one that is unknown. The unknown often brings fear with it. In my books I try to counteract this fear, to replace it with a positive message. I believe that children are naturally creative and eager to learn. I want to show them that learning is really both fascinating and fun."

copyright © 2000 by Penguin Group (USA) Books for Young Readers. All rights reserved.

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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 Künste, 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.

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

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews

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