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"Slowly, Slowly, Slowly," said the Sloth

by Eric Carle

Published by Philomel, 2002
24 pages
ISBN: 0-399-23954-5

Ages 3 - 6

Eric Carle's trademark collages burst with vibrant color, infusing energy into the daily activities of a sloth, which, of course, take place slowly, slowly, slowly. As the sloth hangs upside down through day, night, and rain, a menagerie of Amazonian rain forest animals parades by. The sloth doesn't respond when the howler monkey asks why he is so slow, or the caiman questions why je is so quiet, or the anteater inquires why he is so boring. But after thinking for a "long, long, long time," the sloth finally replies when the jaguar aks "why are you so lazy?" In a rich and lengthy paragraph that contrasts nicely with the simple, repetitive text on the preceding pages, the sloth launches into a thoughtful explanation of his manner, incorporating a veritable thesaurus of words to describe his behavior, including lackadaisical, languid, stoic, impassive, sluggish and lethargic. He concludes, " 'But I am not lazy . . . That's just how I am. I like to do things slowly, slowly, slowly.' " A foreword by Jane Goodall elaborates on sloth behavior in the wild, and concludes with a statement about the destruction of sloth habitat and the human threat to the animal's continued survival. CCBC categories: Picture Books For Younger Children.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center


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