How can I have been blogging for over a year about picture books and never once featured an Eric Carle book? Crazy but true… so today I’m rectifying that situation with a review of one of our family’s through-thick-and-thin-favourites: Slowly, Slowly, Slowly, Said the Sloth. It’s been on my list of books to review for ages – so much so that back in May when we visited London Zoo I made a special point of taking a photo of the sloth in their rainforest centre in order that I could include it in an eventual blog post!
So what’s this book all about?
Hanging upside down from the branch in a rainforest, a sloth slowly goes about his day. Not much happens; he wakes up, eats a leaf, falls asleep, observed by other jungle animals as they wander past. Eventually they brake their silence and reproach him – why is he so slow, so boring, so lazy? After much thought the sloth finally gives a gentle, clever and truthful answer to his detractors showing that there’s nothing to be ashamed of in being slow.
And why has it proved such a winner in the Playing by the book household?
And so, over five years since we first read Slowly, Slowly, Slowly, Said the Sloth as a family, this weekend we decided to make our own sloth-inhabited rainforest. First we painted a box green, inside and out.
Then we made some trees and vines to go in our rainforest. We used toilet rolls, and cardboard rolls from inside kitchen paper and wrapping paper as tree trunks, to which we stuck leaves we’d cut out in various shapes, included “streamers” ie thin strips of paper we’d wrapped around a pencil to create vines.
Whilst the leaves on our trees dried we used plasticine (not sure if it’s called this elsewhere in the world – basically it’s a soft modelling clay which unlike playdoh doesn’t dry on exposure to air nor hardens by baking it (as fimo/sculpey would)) to create a selection of animals from Slowly, Slowly, Slowly, Said the Sloth.
And finally the rainforest was assembled and various new stories created with the different animals as the girls played and recreated to their hearts’ content.
Amongst the creatures the girls made were the sloth, caiman, leaf cutter ants, python, jaguar, poison dart frog, porcupine, river turtle, macaw and toucan, although often using colours not actually found in the rainforest! Can you spot them all?
Slowly, Slowly, Slowly, Said the Sloth: *** (3 stars)
Music we’ve enjoyed alongside Slowly, Slowly, Slowly, Said the Sloth :
and for something a little livelier you could try
For more art / craft / play inspiration to go with this book you could try these:
And if you’ve never visited the online shop of The Eric Carle Museum of the Picture Book you’re in for a treat, but*be warned* you may end up spending too much on your card! Here’s their special selection dedicated to Slowly, Slowly, Slowly, Said the Sloth.
Now to some very exciting news! This autumn, 680,000 copies of Slowly, Slowly, Slowly, Said the Sloth will be given for free to all children starting reception class in England. To celebrate, Booktime are offering primary schools and libraries in England the chance to enter a prize draw to receive an exclusive, signed artist’s proof from the book. Anyone can nominate a primary school and a public library in England, and the nominations open today (6th September) and close on the 31st October.
Why don’t you go and nominate your kid’s school or library right now? You just need to visit the nomination page at Booktime’s website (where there are full terms and conditions), and fill in your school or library’s details.