________________ CM . . . . Volume XIII Number 20 . . . .May 25, 2007

cover

Jeffrey and Sloth.

Kari-Lynn Winters. Illustrated by Ben Hodson.
Victoria, BC: Orca, 2007.
32 pp., cloth, $19.95.
ISBN 978-1-55143-323-3.

Preschool-grade 2 / Ages 4-7.

Review by Ellen Heaney.

*** /4

Reviewed from Advance Reading Copy.

   

excerpt:

Jeffrey now realized what was happening. "Oh, I get it. You don't want me to write because you're lazy."

"No, no, that's not it." said Sloth.

"Oh, yeah? So if I wrote a story making you dig clear through the earth, you wouldn't care?"

Sloth looked worried. "Absolutely not."

 

B.C.'s Orca Books is known for its paperback series for different ages, but it also publishes thoughtful non-fiction and a fine range of picture books. Jeffrey and Sloth is an example of the latter.

     Author Kari-Lynn Winters, who is billed on the jacket copy as an educator, performer and writer, says that the inspiration for writing Jeffrey and Sloth came from a lack of inspiration to write anything at all. And the only lines of type on the first page of the book say, "Jeffrey looked at the blank page. It glared back." This is a statement any blocked writer can truly appreciate.

internal art      Instead of telling a story with words, Jeffrey decides to tell one with pictures. The sloth character he creates takes over events, commanding Jeffrey to draw it a chair, a pillow and blanket. The sloth's rude behaviour moves the artist to begin shaping the animal's actions in the direction he wants, and the tables are turned. By the end, Jeffrey's story is one of visual and textual art.

      Ben Hodson's wonderfully comic illustrations make readers appreciate Jeffrey's transformation from downcast to jubilant. The sloth, too, changes from the most elemental schmoo-like outline to a three-dimensional creature with moods and facial expressions that will make readers laugh out loud.

      Jeffrey and Sloth is a story of the development of artistic expression and empowerment. Bravo to both of its creators.

Recommended.

Ellen Heaney is Head of Children's Services at the New Westminster Public Library in New Westminster, BC.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.
 

NEXT REVIEW | TABLE OF CONTENTS FOR THIS ISSUE - May 25, 2007.

AUTHORS | TITLES | MEDIA REVIEWS | PROFILES | BACK ISSUES | SEARCH | CMARCHIVE | HOME