Celebrating World Read-Aloud Day with Eric Carle

Eric Carle Alert: A new Eric Carle book is in the works. You can visit his website for more info. http://www.ericcarleblog.blogspot.com.au/

eric carle,friends,www.viviankirkfield.wordpress.com

Why do I mention this? Because Wednesday is World Read Aloud Day and Eric Carle picture books are perfect for reading aloud. With that in mind, and because today is Perfect Picture Book Friday (over at Susanna Leonard Hill), my perfect picture book choice today is an older Eric Carle story.

eric carle,www.viviankirkfield.wordpress.com

“Slowly, Slowly, Slowly,” said the Sloth

Written and illustrated by Eric Carle

Foreward by Jane Goodall

Publisher: Scholastic, Inc. (2002)

Ages: 3 and up


Be yourself, diversity, animals of the jungle, getting along, self-esteem, enjoy life (stop and smell the roses)

Opening Lines:

“Slowly, slowly, slowly, a sloth crawled along a branch of a tree. Slowly, slowly, slowly, the sloth fell asleep. Slowly, slowly, slowly, the sloth woke up.”


In a jungle in South America, the other animals question the way of the sloth. The anteater says he is boring. The jaguar says he is lazy. The howler monkey says he is slow. Finally, the sloth answers them, giving them a dozen synonyms for slow and quiet and boring. He admits that he is lackadaisical, mellow, placid, lethargic, laid-back and tranquil because he likes to live in peace. “That’s just how I am.”

Why  I like this book:

In the style of The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf, “Slowly, Slowly, Slowly,” said the Sloth celebrates our right to be who we are. Without making excuses, the sloth accepts his personna and embraces it. What a wonderful story for both parent and child to read together…what a wonderful opportunity to talk about how we are each different and how that very diversity contributes to the beauty of the world.

The illustrations are bold, a kaliediscope of color collages…exactly what we would expect from an Eric Carle book. The text is simple and effective…and the section where the sloth gives over a dozen synonyms for slow, quiet and boring is fantastic…kids will LOVE those big words: lackadaisical, lethargic, sluggish, languid…oh my, what fun…and learning all the time!

How a parent can use this book:

The story addresses friendship, diversity, pride in oneself, awareness of one’s own values and strengths. The foreward, by the famous Jane Goodall, relates some of her experiences with sloths in the jungles and rainforests of South America  I did not know that sloths sleep nineteen hours out of twenty-four…and that they are basically silent creatures who occasionally comment on life with a small sigh, ‘ah-ee’. Sleeping nineteen hours out of twenty-four…that sounds like a spa vacation to me.

Related Activities:

Eric Carle is famous for his collage illustrations. Why not do a collage with your child?


Photo courtesy Melissa Iwai, author/illustrator of Soup Day and illustrator of Hush Little Monster: http://thehungryartist.wordpress.com/2010/03/24/collage-crafts-for-kids/

You will need:

One piece of construction paper, several pieces of other paper/fabric/tissue paper/giftwrap/newspaper/magazine/wallpaper swatches, glue, scissors, markers or crayons.

  1. Let your child decide what the picture will be…a person, a landscape, a jungle filled with animals. Or, perhaps your child prefers to just cut or tear and paste his own design.
  2. If your child wishes to make a specific picture, he might want to draw the picture on the construction paper first, before cutting or tearing the collage pieces.
  3. Cut or tear the paper/fabric/newspaper/etc and glue on the construction paper.

flower mosaic, crafts for kids, learning activities for preschoolers

More about Eric Carle here: http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/book/slowly-slowly-slowly-said-sloth

And here: http://www.ericcarleblog.blogspot.com.au/

More collage activities here: http://www.artistshelpingchildren.org/collagesartscraftsideasprojectskids.html

And more here: http://www.artsandcraftsforkids.co.uk/collage-crafts-for-kids.html

They say good things come in threes.. .I just noticed that my blog has 300 followers. THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO READS MY POSTS…AND TO THOSE WHO COMMENT…I REALLY DO APPRECIATE IT. Also, Tuesday, March 5, I am joining author/educator Susan Case for a #SpringintoEducation Google Hangout…we are going to be chatting about how educators can positively influence their students. And Monday, March 4, will be Michelle Obama’s first #letsmove #firesidechat Google+ Hangout. Individuals were invited to submit a video question for possible inclusion…here’s mine: http://youtu.be/7u1X8dOnpzc

Show Me How Build Your Childs Selfesteem, Vivian Kirkfield,parenting advice,craft activities,child-friendly recipes

Mrs. Obama’s goal is to create awareness and find answers to help our children live a healthier lifestyle. My book provides many of those answers…please check out it out…you’ll find quick and easy healthful recipes that your kids will enjoy preparing with you as well as lots of other simple activities and great picture book suggestions. Click this link to purchase a copy

About viviankirkfield

Writer for children - Reader forever Mom of 3, educator, author of FOUR OTTERS TOBOGGAN: AN ANIMAL COUNTING BOOK (Pomegranate Press, 2019), PIPPA'S PASSOVER PLATE (Holiday House, 2019), FROM HERE TO THERE: INVENTIONS THAT CHANGED THE WAY WE MOVE (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2019), SWEET DREAMS, SARAH (Creston Books, 2019), picture book junkie, lover of travel, hiking, fly-fishing, cooking, and playing Monopoly with my 9-year old grandson.

Posted on February 28, 2013, in Eric Carle, Let's Move Fireside Chat with Michelle Obama, Perfect Picture Book Friday, World Read-Aloud Day and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 39 Comments.

  1. We love Eric Carle books in our house. But, haven’t read this one. Thanks for the heads up and thanks for the feedback at critique group. I’ll send you notes sometime this weekend.


    • Thanks, Stacy! I love our critique group! You left before Jeanine did hers, right? She actually did two…a short one…and a longer one called: ‘Ms. V’s Very Big Trip’…it was hilarious…all about me and my anxiety about going to Singapore…and she even did an illustration! What fun. I’ll bring it to the next meeting so you can see it.Eric Carle is one of my favorite author/illustrators…and reading about him, I found out that when he came here, Leo Lionni was his mentor. What luck!


  2. I hadn’t seen the sloth book before!! My new obsession!


    • So happy you stopped by. Yes, this was one I hadn’t heard of…you will love it! I adore how the sloth answers the other animals…maybe parents and educators can take a lesson from this and pass it along to kids…be who you are…and be proud of it!! One of the words he uses to describe himself is ‘unflappable’…that is what we must be when we submit manuscripts..or perhaps when we get the response, I think.:)


  3. “Without making excuses, the sloth accepts his personna and embraces it. What a wonderful story for both parent and child to read together…what a wonderful opportunity to talk about how we are each different and how that very diversity contributes to the beauty of the world.” Great lesson for teens too. Thank you, Vivian.


    • Thanks so much, Krista, for stopping by and leaving such a lovely comment. When I first picked up the book, I didn’t realize what a powerful and important message it had. After reading through it, I feel in love with it…and plan to use it for story-time school visits next semester…I’ll bet most of the kids and teachers have never heard it. Gotta love picture books for all ages, right?


  4. I’ve always loved his work and art. Love reading these to the grandkids.


  5. Eric Carle books are always favorites!


  6. Catherine Johnson

    That is a great lesson for kids, Vivian. Good luck with the Google+ debate, how fun!


  7. I like reading the title aloud, over and over, ever slower! Thanks for recommending this one. I thought I’d read almost all the Carle books – good thing I haven’t!


    • And now he has a new one on the way.:) Remember that Kevin Costner movie, “If You Build It, They Will Come”? Well, I guess with Eric Carle we might say, ‘If he writes it, we will read it.” 🙂 Glad I gave you a new one to enjoy, Julie!


  8. I love th message in this book for kids and adults! And, a great discussion book on acceptance and differences. As always, you have great activities.


  9. Eric Carle is such a classic. My children enjoy him as much as I did.


  10. It would be nice to be a slouth for just one day. I always love how you tie the book reviews to activities for kids! 🙂


  11. Great Post! we loved reading this book and its a great way to celebrate the day 🙂


    • Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting, Reshama! I’m loving the activity on Google+ in the #parenting and #kidlit sector. When parents and teachers get excited, they communicate that passion to the kids. 🙂


  12. This sounds like a book with a GREAT message! 😀


  13. Oh my, I’m an Eric Carle fan and haven’t read this one. Thank you so much for pointing it out to me.


  14. Ooooh, fun. I love anything animal, and my daughter did an amazing Eric Carle collage recently. Thank you for sharing this one, it’s now on my reading list!


    • Glad you liked this one, Miranda! Collage is one of those inexpensive, express-your-creativity, I-can-do-it-myself activities for kids of all ages…and obviously, adults as well…as Eric Carle shows us.:) By the way, thanks so very much for the positive and insightful feedback on my Visitors to Deep Pool RYS entry…I shared it with my little local SCBWI critique group and they helped me see exactly what you meant about putting it in stanza format…you rock, Miranda!


  15. Wonderful share, Vivian. I really like the message of that book . . . and the collage project.

    Here’s to being WHO and HOW we are. 😀


  16. Wonderful message in the book — so important for all to remember. And LOVE all the big words!


  17. Amazing books and artwork Vivian ,Thanks for sharing 🙂


  18. Susanna just did a post about another sloth book! I think the Universe is telling me to take the day off. 😉



    • So funny, Nancy…and I saw she mentioned that someone else did one as well…I haven’t read the other posts yet.I agree…perhaps it is an important omen that must be obeyed. Power off! pens and pencils down! Time to just BE.:)


  1. Pingback: World Read-Aloud Day: Tips on Reading Aloud to Young Children | Positive Parental Participation

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