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 time, the sloth finally tells them!.
“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.”
– Publisher’s Weekly, July 1, 2002
**“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, School Library Journal
STARRED REVIEW **“[Eric] 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.”
– Kirkus Reviews