Wednesday, May 28, 2008

"Slowly, Slowly, Slowly," Said the Sloth

Yesterday Maya and I went to the zoo. Maya liked the tiny monkeys that came right up to the glass and the tiny African deer. She barely even noticed the giraffes even when we were standing a couple of feet away from them, nor the big gorillas. I guess she likes animals that are on her level.

We got a big surprise from the zebra. Whenever we get to the zebra page in her animal book, I just say, "This is a zebra. It has stripes," since I don't know what sound a zebra makes. Well, were we shocked when the zebra suddenly let out a long series of noises somewhere between a donkey and a howler monkey. I'm not sure I can (or want to) imitate it. I may just stick with, "It has stripes."

Maya also liked the mid-size monkeys (sorry, I don't remember the names) who were very playful and swung around on ropes and branches. The sloth in "Slowly, Slowly, Slowly," Said the Sloth, by Eric Carle, also hangs from a branch, but I doubt Maya would find him as entertaining.

As the other forest animals scramble around him, the sloth spends the entire book hanging from a tree, occasionally eating a leaf or sleeping. The sloth does everything, "Slowly, slowly, slowly." The animals ask questions, but the sloth doesn't answer.

Not until the jaguar has the audacity to call him lazy. After a lot of thought, the sloth lets out a lengthy explanation with many synonyms on how he is not lazy. He just likes a peaceful life. He likes to take things "slowly, slowly, slowly."

I was worried that this book would bore the kids in storytime. Not at all. I read "slowly, slowly, slowly" in a comically slow manner. Then I read his soliloquy like the guy in those old Micro Machines commercials (don't bother trying to define all the new words unless asked). Turned out pretty good. The children laughed quite a bit.

Here's a great song to go along with this story. Creep and run your fingers around the baby's belly as you sing.

Slowly, Slowly, Very Slowly

Slowly, slowly, very slowly
Creeps the garden snail.
Slowly, slowly, very slowly
Up the garden rail.

Quickly, quickly, very quickly
Runs the little mouse.
Quickly, quickly, very quickly
Up into his house!

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