Giant Steps to Change the World [NOOK Book]

Overview

“On some days your dreams may seem too far away to realize… Listen to the whispers of those that came before...”

People throughout history have taken giant steps toward improving the world—but even the smallest step makes a difference. A wonderful and inspiring gift, Giant Steps to Change the World encourages readers to follow in the footsteps of those who came before, to reject fears of inadequacy, and to ponder what they can contribute to society.
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Overview

“On some days your dreams may seem too far away to realize… Listen to the whispers of those that came before...”

People throughout history have taken giant steps toward improving the world—but even the smallest step makes a difference. A wonderful and inspiring gift, Giant Steps to Change the World encourages readers to follow in the footsteps of those who came before, to reject fears of inadequacy, and to ponder what they can contribute to society.
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Editorial Reviews

Pamela Paul
…uses spare text to evoke grand ideas…Sean Qualls…offers a vibrant mix of painting, drawing and collage to depict the challenges each hero surmounted…these are people whom children will be eager to acquaint themselves with.
—The New York Times
Publishers Weekly
Aiming to inspire young readers, the Lees (Please, Baby, Please) speak directly to them: "On some days your dreams may seem too far away to realize. Listen to the whispers of those that came before...." Each page contains an encouraging thought and invokes the deeds of a hero. "Press on through the darkness and keep going--the way the freedom fighter encouraged the enslaved to ride the railroad to safety so that all could be free." The reference is to Harriet Tubman; the heroes are unnamed, but quotations from (and attributions for) each appear on the endpapers, and they're easy to match up, letting the book function both as a source of inspiration and as an interactive quiz about such figures as Jesse Owens, Mother Teresa, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Barack Obama. Qualls's bold, lively collages (Little Cloud and Lady Wind) handle the book's abstractions gracefully. A curly-haired boy contemplates a long stairway; intricate lines curl out of a book of Langston Hughes's poetry; a red snake represents fear. Concluding with a challenge, the Lees ask, "What's your next step going to be?" All ages. (Jan.)
Children's Literature - Joyce Rice
"You don't have to be the strongest or the bravest" the author tells young readers even before they have turned the title page to this collection of inspiring and challenging words. Without specific naming of personalities, the reader is introduced to Jesse Owen, an Olympic runner who overcame stereotypes to succeed, the Freedom Fighter Harriet Tubman, who provided a way for slaves to escape their harsh masters, the boxing champion, Mohammad Ali, who refused to serve in the military because he would not take up a gun, and Mother Teresa, the woman who continued into her eighth decade to feed the hungry across the world. Simple five or six line text introduces these people and the page is accompanied by illustrations representing their work. Both end pieces include quotations from the people who are introduced in the text. The simple illustrations and the rich dark colors will capture the imagination of the reader long before he reads the last pages, encouraging him to have a voice and keep reaching for a dream. The last entry recognizes the accomplishments of President Barack Obama and challenges the reader to take the next step in making their dreams come true. This is a simple presentation and will not be a primary purchase for elementary collections. However, it is a great discussion starter and would be worthy of purchase for social studies classrooms as well as a terrific gift selection for grandparents. The multicultural nature of the selected personalities enhances the worthiness of the title. Adults will recognize the author and his wife from films and television. The illustrator has done extensive work for children's books and has served as illustrator for Toni Morrison's children's books. Reviewer: Joyce Rice
School Library Journal
Gr 3–6—This motivational book braces readers for the obstacles that come along when following one's dreams. The endpapers have 12 quotes from various people, including Mother Teresa, Jean-Michel Basquiat, the Tuskegee Airmen, and neurosurgeon Ben Carson. On the title page, a child with black curly hair looks up a staircase. The narration that follows is directed toward the youngster. "Listen to the whispers of those that came before....They made giant steps to make the world a better place and left big shoes for you to fill." Neither names nor portraits pepper the spreads; instead, visual metaphors and advice extrapolated from the experiences of the individuals are quoted: "If you stare at a painting and do not see yourself there, paint your own portrait. Let the world see that you do exist...." The spreads have key verbs in a larger typeface to emphasize actions that lead to change ("Press on," "make a plan"), and the abstract, mixed-media paintings with bits of collage are vivid with meaning. Suspense sets in when the giant steps turn into segments of a red dragon eliciting the fears that threaten all those who dream of a better world. Expert pacing ensues, bringing the narrator to ask the child, and all readers by extension, the resounding and evocative question, "What's your next step going to be?"—Sara Lissa Paulson, American Sign Language and English Lower School PS 347, New York City
Kirkus Reviews

The opening two pages of inspirational quotations from men and women both famous and not-quite serve as a de facto table of contents for a series of collages and accompanying homilies (often quite clunky ones) from the Lees. They are addressed to a young boy, literally climbing steps, and exhort all young readers to step up with "might and courage" so that they "will be the foundation that impacts us all." Adults will have to make the leap between those opening quotes and the following tableaux glorifying such figures as Jesse Owens, Marva Collins, Muhammad Ali, neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson, Mother Teresa, the Tuskegee Airmen and Neil Armstrong, among others, all of whom faced difficulties and aimed high. Qualls uses soft shades of blues, purples and oranges for each pictorial work, applying the paint thickly over pieces of newsprint and torn paper. Best of the bunch is a swirl of lines passing city buildings in homage to Langston Hughes' "The Negro Speaks of Rivers." Not really a rousing read-aloud but a solid jumping-off point for discussion. Purposeful in a good way. (Picture book. 5-8)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781442432994
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
  • Publication date: 5/3/2011
  • Sold by: SIMON & SCHUSTER
  • Format: NOOK Kids
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 857,056
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD870L (what's this?)
  • File size: 28 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

Spike Lee is one of the most prominent and influential media figures today. His films include the critically acclaimed School Daze; Academy Award nominee Do the Right Thing; Malcolm X; Clockers; and 25th Hour. Born in Atlanta, Spike attended Morehouse College and NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, where he earned his master of fine arts degree in film production. Spike and his wife are the authors of Please, Baby, Please, their first picture book with Simon & Schuster. They live in New York City with their two children.
Tonya Lewis Lee is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College and the University of Virginia School of Law. As a children's television producer she has worked with Disney, Nickelodeon, and Noggin/The N, where she was the executive producer of the award-winning documentary I Sit Where I Want: The Legacy of Brown v. Board of Education and the critically acclaimed miniseries Miracle's Boys. She is also the author of Gotham Diaries, her first novel.
Sean Qualls has created art for magazines, newspapers, advertisements and children's books. His work is a mixed media combination of painting, drawing, and collage. Sean is the illustrator of Before John was a Jazz Giant, which received the Coretta Scott King Honor award; The Baby on the Way (FSG), a New York Times Notable Book, Powerful Words (Scholastic); Poet Slave of Cuba (HENRY HOLT), a BCCB Blue Ribbon Book; How We Are Smart (Lee & Low) and Dizzy (Scholastic) an ALA Notable, Kirkus Best Book, BCCB Blue Ribbon Book, School Library Journal Best Book of the Year, Booklist Editors' Choice, Horn Book Magazine Fanfare Book, and a Child Magazine Best Book. His first book with Simon and Schuster is Little Cloud and Lady Wind (Spring 2010) by Toni and Slade Morrison. He lives with his wife and son in Brooklyn, New York.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 10 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 5, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Review title: That 1st Step. Inside covers of the book have some

    Review title: That 1st Step.
    Inside covers of the book have some great quotes; the quotes are worth using for inspiring people to believe that they have within them great abilities. Words to encourage fortitude and brilliance from each individual are included within the storyline and these words offer hope to the reader. *Inspirational. *Motivational. *Great for encouraging all people to seek to help others and change their world for the better.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2012

    Great and powerful book. If you like this book go check out,

    Great and powerful book.

    If you like this book go check out, " We Can Be Whatever We Want To Be!" by Rosetta Beatty

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2012

    Highly Recommend

    I am a teacher and I read this book to my class for Black History Month. It was very inspirational. The children shared their ideas for how they wanted to make changes in their community. The book is well written and the pictures are great.

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    Posted April 23, 2011

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    Posted January 20, 2011

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    Posted January 13, 2011

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    Posted May 20, 2011

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    Posted January 20, 2011

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    Posted January 28, 2011

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