Do You Know What I'll Do?


One day a little girl said to her brother...

Do you know what I'll do at the seashore?

I'll bring you a shell to hold the sound of the sea.

In a little girl's magical question-and-answer game, Charlotte Zolotow captures, with unerring childlike simplicity, a sister's special love for her little brother. Javaka Steptoe's bold artwork offers a stunning new interpretation of ...

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One day a little girl said to her brother...

Do you know what I'll do at the seashore?

I'll bring you a shell to hold the sound of the sea.

In a little girl's magical question-and-answer game, Charlotte Zolotow captures, with unerring childlike simplicity, a sister's special love for her little brother. Javaka Steptoe's bold artwork offers a stunning new interpretation of the reassuring, lyrical text and brings to yet another generation of children this well-loved story.

A little girl delights her brother with a series of promises about all the wonderful things she'll do to make him happy as they both grow up.

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Editorial Reviews

Patrick Henry Bass
Javaka Steptoe, son of the late artist John Steptoe, delivers masterful images of family love in Do You Know What I'll Do, a wonderful holiday book.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Steptoe's (In Daddy's Arms, I Am Tall) bold mixed-media collages invigorate Zolotow's (Mr. Rabbit and the Lovely Present) tender 1958 tale of a girl's affection for her brother. As Zolotow's poetic images flow in a rhythmic question-and-answer format ("Do you know what I'll do when it snows?/ I'll make you a snowman./ / Do you know what I'll do when the wind blows?/ I'll put it in a bottle and let it loose when the house is hot"), Steptoe responds in kind. He depicts a bottle of wind containing snowflakes and a tiny image of the snowman built by the girl in a prior spread. His stunning illustrations, comprised of painted plywood, cardboard and paper, along with fabric, ribbons, buttons, seashells and so on, create layered, almost three-dimensional portraits of the striking African-American siblings. Their love for each other is tangible, yet he injects the same playfulness and humor inherent in the text. For "Do you know what I'll do at the movies?/ I'll remember the song and sing it to you," Steptoe shows the sister striking a Billie Holiday pose, complete with flower hair ornaments and a fuchsia feather boa. Simple, rounded lines and a resonant white backdrop set off the brilliant colors (fans of John Steptoe's work can't help but notice a resemblance). Both author and artist prove they know how to convey a strong sense of familial love. Ages 3-7. (Sept.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
In a series of questions and answers, a young African America girl tells her younger brother the many ways she will show him her love. When the flowers grow again, she will pick him a bunch; at the seashore she will bring him "a shell to hold the sound of the sea;" from a party she'll carry "a piece of cake with the candle still in it." Her final hug is a reassuring end for siblings who aren't always sure how they feel about each other. The brief, repetitive verbal format is visualized by depicting the siblings isolated against a plain white background. Steptoe cuts anatomical shapes, paints them with appropriate features, adds other materials like ribbons and fabric scraps, then photographs the assembled collage. These are intensely colored, powerfully designed images that are often made visually complex by their many different patterns. But the jacket/cover picture of the hugging couple surrounded by symbolic red and yellow rays of sunshine radiates unambiguous joy. 2000, HarperCollins Publishers,
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1-"One day a little girl said to her little brother-Do you know what I'll do when the flowers grow again? I'll pick you a bunch and you'll be happy." So begins this lyric narrative, as a child describes her love for her brother by listing all the things she will do for him. Zolotow's text, originally illustrated by Garth Williams (HarperCollins, 1958), zeros in on that special kind of tenderness between siblings. Steptoe's mixed-media collages, made mostly from wood and paint, have a three-dimensional quality and project the emotion of the text. The artist gets precise detail with broad strokes, and his vibrant compositions leap from and move across the stark white spreads. The layout is simple but effective. The text is only slightly revised, replacing "movie" with "movies," and rephrasing the final question from "Do you know what I'll do when I grow up and am married?" to "-when I grow up and have a baby?" The answer to both is, "I'll bring you my baby to hug. Like this." Steptoe's artwork is decidedly modern, yet timeless in its depiction of an African-American family. It is familiar, yet fresh, just as Zolotow's voice was to the children's book scene over 50 years ago, and continues to be today.-Nina Lindsay, Oakland Public Library, CA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Kirkus Reviews
A big sister lovingly promises to bring her little brother flowers when flowers grow again, a shell to hold the sound of the sea, a bottle of captured wind to open on a hot day, and other treasures, some more emotional than concrete as in, "I'll remember my dreams and tell them to you." Steptoe (In Daddy's Arms I Am Tall, 1997) illustrates Zolotow's 1958 text with rich collages constructed from pieces of painted plywood, cloth, ribbon, dried flowers, and other materials, brushing lines of yellow around dark brown limbs and facial features to add definition and draw the viewer's eye to subtly curving lips or eyes. Unlike such antiphonal classics as Margaret Wise Brown's Runaway Bunny (1942) or Sam McBratney's Guess How Much I Love You (1994), there is only one voice here and so, less character interplay. But there's a lot to look at and young readers and listeners will find themselves wrapped in the same warm intimacy. And it ends, properly, with a hug. (Picture book. 58)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060278793
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/28/2000
  • Edition description: REVISED
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD300L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 10.00 (w) x 8.75 (h) x 0.32 (d)

Meet the Author

Charlotte Zolotow—author, editor, publisher, and educator—has one of the most distinguished reputations in the field of children's literature. She has written more than seventy books, many of which are picture-book classics, such as Mr. Rabbit and the Lovely Present and William's Doll. She lives in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York.

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2002

    Admirable, but not as strong as it used to be

    Charlotte Zolotow's gentle and thoughtful text for this book remains as poignant as it did when first published in 1958. While Mr. Steptoe's work has a graphic strength I admire, it is perhaps too strong for the poetic simplicity of this book. HarperCollins would do well to reissue the original Garth Williams edition of this book, which unconditionally is a five star title.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2009

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