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Step Gently Out Hardcover – March 13, 2012


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 2 - 5 years
  • Lexile Measure: 460L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick (March 13, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0763656011
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763656010
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 10 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #261,023 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Nature’s miracles are often small and hard to capture, but in a syncopated harmony of text and image, Frost and Lieder manage to depict tiny moments as seen through a bug’s-eye-view of the world. The quiet poem begins with an invitation to “Step gently out” and, from there, to observe a blade of grass. This may seem a dull activity, but it turns out to be full of wonder: a cricket leaps and sings; a spider spins a silken web; a firefly flashes through the evening air. The soothing, meditative language bursts with beautiful imagery that begs to be read aloud—“The / creatures / shine with / stardust. / Then they’re / splashed / with / morning / dew”—and the photographs, taken at close range, magnify wings in flight and dewdrops on webs. Praying mantises and moths may not be known for their loveliness, but in the collaborators’ capable hands, they are beautiful. Moving from day to night, the poem makes for a soothing bedtime lullaby that includes a reminder to children about the book’s small creatures: “In song and dance / and stillness, / they share the world / with you.” Preschool-Grade 1. --Ann Kelley

Review

Breathtaking photos and an exquisite poem capture a bug's-eye view of nature... While Frost's lightly rhymed declarative verse encourages children to experience the natural world with care and openness to the tiny wonders of insect life around them, Lieder's richly colored intimate close ups offer every reason why... A dazzlingly poetic photo album of the insect world for tots on up.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Captivating photography gives readers a closeup view of the world of insects, as described by a gently contemplative poem... The words and images achieve a Zenlike calm that also hints at the complicated web of life unfolding all around.
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Nature’s miracles are often small and hard to capture, but in a syncopated harmony of text and image, Frost and Lieder manage to depict tiny moments as seen through a bugs-eye-view of the world... Moving from day to night, the poem makes for a soothing bedtime lullaby that includes a reminder to children about the book’s small creatures: "In song and dance / and stillness, / they share the world / with you."
—Booklist (starred review)

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 18 customer reviews
This is a beautiful book.
Kat Thacker
This book, sharing images of ordinary insects, is an excellent teaching tool -- step gently, look carefully, you can find wonders in ordinary life.
Robert C. Ross
This makes the book a keeper for a child to grow up with to develop a true appreciation of the beauty of nature and each creature's role in it.
K. Pollara

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Kat Thacker on March 20, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This is a beautiful book. Stunning photos of insects with true personalities never seen before. Lovely poetry with gentle message of observing the hidden world around you. This book would make a perfect gift for both children & adults!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on August 10, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I have lots of little soapboxes scattered around my home that I like to pounce on in idle moments. Big soapboxes. Little soapboxes. Anyone who knows me is forced to hear me expound from one of them at least once daily. It's rare that I get to shove two of them together, though. Usually they represent separate entities that don't overlap. Picking up the remarkably gorgeous work that is Helen Frost and Rick Lieder's "Step Gently Out", however, allows me to stack one soapbox on top of another. That may make them a little more difficult to balance on, but with practice I'll have it down pat. From that perch I can then cry to the heavens above, "Why is there no poetry award for children's books given out by the American Library Association?" while also bemoaning, "Why has a work of photography never won a Caldecott Award?" Yes, "Step Gently Out" appears to be a double threat. Poetry meets photography in a single undulating poem. And if my soapbox seems strange, it will make all the more sense when you learn that the pair behind the book includes the remarkable poet Helen Frost and photographer extraordinaire Rick Lieder. Put them both together and you'd be a fool to overlook this book for any reason whatsoever.

"Step gently out," the book urges us. "... be still, and watch a single blade of grade." As we follow the words and instructions we are brought in close to a wide array of common backyard insects. An ant lifts its head from the center of a yellow flower and is "bathed in golden light." A spider weaves webs soaked in droplets and we hear that "they're splashed with morning dew". By the end we begin to understand them better and the text closes with "In song and dance and stillness, they share the world with you.
Read more ›
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Jessica at Cracking the Cover on April 8, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Each line in "Step Gently Out" asks readers to explore. The text simply explains each of the book's stunning photographs -- which just so happens to be bugs in their habitats.

Like the text, each of the images is simple in composition, yet complex in the details. The fuzz on a caterpillar becomes long and spikey, and a moth's wings take on a hair-like quality when seen through a macro lens. Rick Lieder's images combined with Helen Frost's text give these tiny creatures the appearance of human personalities.

A final set of pages offers readers interesting facts about the insects and spiders. "Step Gently Out" offers a gentle introduction to creepy crawlies that even the most squeamish of child will find fascinating.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Robert C. Ross on April 5, 2012
Format: Hardcover
The photographs of insects in this beautifully produced children's book are stunning, detailed, the result of long hours spent studying insects in an ordinary Michigan garden. But there is nothing ordinary about the incredible detail -- fascinating to kids around five to eight, based on my small sample -- but to this much older kid at heart.

There is a wonderful short video promoting this book, not shown as I write this Review by Amazon, but beautiful and well worth watching all on its own. It is absolutely inspiring; see link in the first Comment.

According to the back matter, insects on display include: European Honeybee, a Chinese Praying Mantis, a Tussock Moth Caterpillar, an Eastern Black Carpenter Ant, a Big Dipper Firefly, a Greater Angle-wing Katydid, an Ebony Jewelwing Damselfly, a Striped Ground Cricket, a Chickweed Geometer Moth, an Orb-weaver Spider, and a Common Yellow Jacket.

The poetry is spare and evocative:

In song and dance
and stillness,

they share the world
with you.

This book, sharing images of ordinary insects, is an excellent teaching tool -- step gently, look carefully, you can find wonders in ordinary life.

Robert C. Ross
April 2012
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Crazy about shoes on July 11, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an outstanding book for young children. The art work is beautiful, the poetry is lovely and the message is a valuable one. I gave it to my three year old granddaughter, and her mother, my daughter, loved the fact that the book also gives information on the different species mentioned. I highly recommend it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J. Castle on July 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Sometimes we take nature for granted, ignoring the beauty it contains. In the book, "Step Gently Out," the author encourages us to take time to really see our world. It is a great introduction to nature for young children, enticing them to head outside and look for all the hidden wonders.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By K. Pollara on December 16, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
STEP GENTLY OUT is a beauty for both its poetry and close-up photography. The format is huge (about 10"X9.25") so the detail is magnificent. The poetry is simple and elegant. Definitely recommended for a young child, but you'll enjoy it too. At the end of the book, each insect depicted in the two-page spreads has a detailed write-up about behavior and habitat more suitable for an older child. This makes the book a keeper for a child to grow up with to develop a true appreciation of the beauty of nature and each creature's role in it.
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