Around the time the building of The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art was coming to completion, nearly a decade ago, I was feeling overwhelmed, and so I locked myself in my studio and hung out the DO NOT DISTURB sign. My life had become so busy with meetings and appointments. That was when the gentle and slow moving Sloth came to my mind. I became fascinated by this strange creature that sleeps up to 20 out of 24 hours; this boring animal who eats 10% of what animals of equal size and weight consume; this expressionless critter who lives by itself and rarely makes a noise seemed the perfect antidote to the hectic situation I found myself in.

Our lives have become increasingly frenetic. We are constantly bombarded by all kinds of messages about scandals, wars and what soap to buy. We eat fast food, rush to the next appointment, click away at our computers, fly and drive in all directions. Maybe the peaceful Sloth can teach us something…? This image is an alternative collage illustration that was not used in my book Slowly, Slowly, Slowly, said the Sloth. You might be interested to know that pictures from my book Slowly are currently on exhibit at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art and that this year — 2012 — the Museum will be celebrating its 10th anniversary!