Storytime with Karen – Sloths

Sleepy, slow-moving sloths are the perfect, chilled-out antidote for our hectic lives. Even the legendary Sir David Attenborough said he would come back as a sloth when given the choice of any animal on the planet! The smiley sloth can be used as inspiration to slow down, to stop and smell the roses and find your inner zen. With Reading Hour happening this week it’s time to chill-out, sloth style, and curl up with a good book. 

Image of sloth: pixabay

Books

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Sloth Slept On

written and illustrated by Frann Preston-Gannon.

A sloth has gone missing from the local zoo. Three children discover him sleeping peacefully in a tree in their backyard. However, the children have never seen a sloth before and don’t know what it is. While the sloth sleeps on the children set about finding out what it is and where he belongs. But the sloth is in for a big surprise when he finally wakes up! There is a nice mix of true animal facts and a silly story where the children imagine the sloth to be a ferocious pirate or a brave knight or an astronaut. The illustrations of the sleepy sloth are funny, entertaining and engaging.

“Slowly, slowly, slowly,” said the sloth

written and illustrated by Eric Carle.

In this beautiful picture book a sloth goes about his days, slowly, slowly, slowly. And while he agrees to being slow and quiet and boring, he takes offence at being called lazy. Eric Carle believes we could all learn from the laid-back and peaceful sloths. Because we are too often rushing and hurrying from here to there. A foreward providing information about the sloth has been written by Jane Goodall. A feature spread of different rainforest animals has been included at the end.

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Archie no ordinary sloth

written and illustrated by Heath McKenzie.

Archie is not like the other sloths. While the other sloths like to flop and snooze and sloth about, Archie can’t keep still. Archie likes to swing, jump, juggle and groove but he cannot convince his friends to join in. Then one day his friends tell him that he should go away. Archie does just that and meets some other jungle creatures who are different too. He learns that it’s okay to be different and rejoins the other sloths as a hero. The comical illustrations are great fun and Archie is super cute and like-able.

The Sloth Who Came to Stay

written by Margaret Wild and illustrated by Vivienne To.

This superbly illustrated book is essentially about taking the time to enjoy the little things in life. The little things often overlooked when family life gets too busy and hurried and rushed. Amy’s family are speedy! They walk fast, drive fast, shop fast and eat fast. That is, until the day Amy brings a sloth home to stay. Thanks to the slow-moving sloth, Amy’s family learns to slow down and enjoy being more sloth-like. This beautiful picture book was shortlisted by the Children’s Book Council of Australia for Children’s Picture Book of the Year in 2018 and you can read a review by Beth here

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Songs

Crafty Idea

Let’s make a tree-loving sloth. This craft is courtesy of CleverPatch and was inspired by Margaret Wild’s ‘The Sloth Who Came to Stay’.

You will need:

  • White A4 card
  • Oil pastels or crayons
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Paper fasteners
  • Black permanent marker
  • String
  • Sloth template

Method:

  • Print the sloth templates onto white card.
  • Colour in and cut out.
  • Glue the claws onto the hands and feet.
  • Use a black marker to add facial features.
  • Insert paper fasteners into the arms and attach each arm to either side of the sloth’s body.
  • Secure the arms in place at the back using the paper fasteners.
  • Place your sloth onto a piece of string. 
  • Your sloth is now ready to hang around! You might also like to attach some leaves to the string.

Did You Know?

When on the ground, sloths can take two minutes to travel the length of a car. A human baby can easily crawl twice as fast! Sloths have an absolute top speed of a quarter of a kilometre per hour. And they sleep from 15 to 19 hours each day. Sloths are gentle, peace-loving creatures.

Sammy the Sloth

You can listen to the Sammy the Sloth song here, courtesy of JAMaROO Kids.