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Score One for the Sloths

1 rating: 3.0
A book by Helen Lester

Sparky, a new energetic student at a sloth school, saves her lazy classmates when a wild boar from a government agency tries to shut the school down.

Author: Helen Lester
Genre: Education, Juvenile Fiction, Nature
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Date Published: September 24, 2001
1 review about Score One for the Sloths

Score One for the Sloths

  • Jul 11, 2002
  • by
Pros: Amusing illustrations, clever story telling

Cons: Concept of the story hard to grasp for kids

The Bottom Line: A humorous tale about sloths in school

Welcome to Sleep Valley Sloth School where you will find sloths just hanging around in pajamas, “ content in their slothfulness”. The classroom was equipped with pillows for each sloth as well as a place for slippers and robes. Adorning the walls are individual drawings of a chair that reclines, a bed and a pillow that made a B+. The schedule listed shows nothing for morning and afternoon with a chalkboard showing the counting of sheep.

Sometimes the teacher would arise to instruct the class to yawn, roll over or to keep the snores coming. Through out the day the sloths were found in chairs sleeping, on the floor and on top of the desks. Lunch hour showed the most movement of the day when they had three lunch hours, “ when the sloths would amble around the slotherteria taking a berry at a time, slowly chewing each one ever … so… carefully.”

Once lunch was over it was time for the sloths nap, then study hall and on to recess. Each of these activities shows them in various positions such as being slumped over a swing or on top of the swing set. During the study hall they each had a book opened and placed over their faces. Yes they had their faces in the books fast asleep with pencils still lying on the floor. These sloths were able to sleep in any position as their bodies were twisted in balls, sometimes with tails tucked underneath them.

Although the bell rang daily at three these sloths did not leave willingly, but with a push from the janitor at six. Usually one would complain about a leg hurting and they argued over who would get up to get the door. This is what caused them to stick around till six each day. They were literally swept out the door and rolled home in their same positions of slumber.

Then one day at Sleepy Valley Sloth School a new sloth arrived full of energy. Her name was Sparky and she drove the other sloths crazy before half the day was over. Sparky wanted to read a story, play music, build castles and do some math. All the other sloths could do was cover their ears when Sparky started her next activity.

Sparky ended up in the corner protesting these sloths to be a bunch of bores. Well all of a sudden a real boar showed up at the door with a clipboard. “ From its outfit it was clear that it was a wild boar.” This boar was wearing a bunch of mix-matched pieces to resemble a suit, bow-tie and jacket. He was a representative from S.O.S. – Society for Organizing Sameness. His report showed the school was a disgrace to the Mammal District. The boar went about making noise and poking the sloths to wake them up to inform them of the scores. It turns out they were dreadful and way below the chart on reading, math, poetry and music. Due to this report he had to close the school down. This got the attention of the sleepy sloths, for they liked their happy, peaceful, slothful school.

They could not think of anything to do and turned to Sparky, the go-getter. She quickly passed out books over each sloth to make it look like they were reading. Next she got out a violin while the sloths were snoring to the sounds of her music. Sparky used the sloths to build blocks, placing a sloth in between five to ten blocks to show how high they could stack.

When it came time to test for math there was a serious blunder that the S.O.S. representative did not notice, but he got a correct answer just the same when asking what two plus two was. The sloths all had learned the poem entitled, The Way of the Sloth as babies and could recite it in their sleep, which they did. The eyes on each of the sloths are closed, as their heads are titled back reciting the poem.

The sloths were able to fool the wild boar and off he went with his clipboard. By this time they were long past naptime so they all piled into the hammock for a very long nap, including Sparky.

The sloths banded together in the end to save their school and Sparky fit right in. My son was not too interested in this book because it is only about sloths and they are too slow and old. He also made note that their eyes were closed on all the pages. Score One for the Sloths was written by Helen Lester with the illustrations by Lynn Munsinger. They have a few other books they have collaborated on, including It Wasn’t My Fault and A Porcupine Named Fluffy.


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