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Children's Fiction Imagination & Play

Jeffrey and Sloth

by (author) Kari-Lynn Winters

illustrated by Ben Hodson

Orca Book Publishers
Initial publish date
Mar 2007
Imagination & Play, Mammals, Art & Architecture
Recommended Age
3 to 5
Recommended Grade
p to k
Recommended Reading age
3 to 5
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2008
    List Price
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Mar 2007
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Sep 2013
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it

Out of print

This edition is not currently available in bookstores. Check your local library or search for used copies at Abebooks.


Jeffrey can't think of a thing to write, so he doodles instead, only to have his doodle begin to order him about. Jeffrey struggles with the situation until he discovers that the most strong-willed doodle is powerless against a well-told tale. Jeffrey and Sloth is bound to have children rushing for their colored pencils and their pens to see who and what they can create.

About the authors

Kari-Lynn Winters is the author of Jeffrey and Sloth (2007), a picture book about the daunting task of overcoming writer's block, and The Meaning Maker, a children's play about reading strategies which is currently being toured throughout the Lower Mainland. A graduate of Canada's National Theatre School, she is currently performing with a Vancouver children's theatre group, The Tickle Trunk Players.

Kari has taught a range of students in Canada and the United States, including pre-school, special education, primary, intermediate, high school, and now university teacher education.

She is currently completing her Ph.D. in the Language and Literacy Department at UBC. Her research interests are children's literature, print literacy, and multimodal forms of learning.

Kari's website is

Kari-Lynn Winters' profile page

"Ben Hodson is an artist who loves a good adventure, like hiking the Rocky Mountains with rescued wild burros, living in a mountain village in Nepal, or drawing comics with youth in South Africa. These experiences bring inspiration and new perspectives to his craft. Ben illustrates mostly for children in books, magazines and textbooks. Ben is the 2004 recipient of the Glass Slipper Award from the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators' Canadian Conference. He does presentations and workshops at local schools and libraries. Ben lives in Ottawa, Ontario, with his wife May and his daughter Zoe. Please visit his website at"

Ben Hodson's profile page


  • Commended, OLA Best Bets

Editorial Reviews

"A good choice to include in a school library collection."

Library Media Connection

"Creative and fun."

Cheryl Rainfield's Children's Book Reviews

"A unique Canadian picturebook...Would make a good addition to primary school collections."

Resource Links

"Will make readers laugh out loud...Bravo to both of its creators. Recommended."

CM Magazine

Librarian Reviews

Jeffrey and Sloth

A recently created doodle takes on a life of its own in this easy-to-read, large print picture book. Faced with the task of writing, young Jeffrey finds himself staring at a blank page. The longer he mulls over his task, the more he doodles… until he hears a voice. The Sloth, which he has just created, speaks to him. The more the Sloth talks to and bosses around Jeffrey, the more inspiration and empowerment Jeffrey acquires for his writing and his artistic expression.

Source: The Association of Book Publishers of BC. BC Books for BC Schools. 2007-2008.

Jeffrey and Sloth

No matter how talented a creative writing teacher you are, sooner or later you have that student who proclaims, “I don't know what to write!” If it was a problem of not knowing what to read, a simple trek to the bookstore would provide a wealth of books to show how reading can be fun. But until now, there hasn't been a picture book that shows how writing can be fun.

In Kari-Lynn Winters’ first picture book, Jeffrey and Sloth, Jeffrey is faced with the dilemma of the dreaded blank page. Instead of writing, he doodles. And as his pen moves over the page, he draws a sloth who comes to life. The sloth is lazy, wants a chair and blanket, and tells Jeffrey to admit that he's just a bad writer.

Jeffrey catches on quick and sees that Sloth is just lazy, and so Jeffrey makes him tunnel through the Earth, swim an ocean, and lastly trek across Canada – all this in search of the perfect blanket. As Jeffrey writes, he sees that he can get his homework done.

The illustrations complement the words with bright colours and animated expressions. Ben Hodson is a good match for Winters’ lively prose, as he brings Jeffrey and Sloth from the page into our imaginations. Students will identify with Jeffrey, and be amused at the antics of Sloth. This is a must-have for any creative writing teacher who has students that don't see their potential.

Source: The Canadian Children's Bookcentre. Summer 2007. Vol.30 No.3.

Jeffrey and the Sloth

Jeffrey can’t think of what to write so he doodles instead. But then his doodle of a sloth comes alive and starts bossing him around. Bright, lively acrylic and coloured pencil artwork accompany this charming tale.

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Best Books for Kids & Teens. 2008.

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