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Little One Step

Little One Step

4.0 1
by Simon James

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"This book has the classic feeling of a modern-day MAKE WAY FOR DUCKLINGS. . . .Charming." — KIRKUS REVIEWS (starred review)

What do you do when you’re little and lost and your legs feel all wobbly? For one tiny duckling, the trick is doing "One Step," a surprising technique that enables him to walk under the tallest of


"This book has the classic feeling of a modern-day MAKE WAY FOR DUCKLINGS. . . .Charming." — KIRKUS REVIEWS (starred review)

What do you do when you’re little and lost and your legs feel all wobbly? For one tiny duckling, the trick is doing "One Step," a surprising technique that enables him to walk under the tallest of trees and across the widest of fields. Using simple language and breezy, expressive illustrations, Simon James speaks directly to the heart of a child and shows that every journey, whatever the length, begins with a single step.

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times
Some children's books set out to razzle-dazzle; others quietly charm.

Simon James's latest outing definitely belongs to the latter camp. He limits himself to a near-monochrome palette -- pale yellow to watery russet -- and a minimum of simple words to relate the adventure of a duckling whose legs ''feel all wobbly'' once he realizes he has wandered far afield from his mother. — Sandy MacDonald
Publishers Weekly
James (Leon and Bob; the Jake books) alluringly simple story introduces three duckling brothers who are lost in the woods. When the youngest announces that he wants his mama and that his legs "feel all wobbly," his understanding and sage oldest sibling comes to his rescue by urging him to try "doing One Step." His clear instructions ("Just lift one foot like this... and say `one.'... Then put it down in front and say `step!' ") do the trick. The little fellow forgets his fears as he concentrates on putting one tiny webbed foot in front of the other, all the way back to their waiting mother. Featuring beige and light golden tones, James's almost monochromatic watercolor-and-ink pictures match the understated and winsome qualities of the narrative. Changing perspectives convey the towering trees that make Little One Step's legs go "wobbly" while spot illustrations chronicle his growing confidence as he stares at his feet and chants "one step" to himself. In one humorous spread, youngsters will spy these words repeated against the backdrop of a field whose tall grasses completely hide the duckling. A lovely lesson on sibling support and the wisdom of tackling intimidating situations one step at a time. Ages 4-8. (Mar.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
AGERANGE: Ages 3 to 7.

Three brother ducklings are lost in the woods, but as a team are able to get back to their mother and to the river. At first the littlest duckling falls behind because he misses his Mama and his legs are wobbly beneath him. But his oldest brother teaches him the One Step: He shows him how to lift one foot saying "one" and to put it down saying "step" and following that with the other foot, and so forth. With practice the littlest duckling feels confident he can do it. The middle brother names him Little One Step. They make headway until the little one is distracted and disheartened by the tall trees. His oldest brother reminds him to do One Step. So through the woods they go until they come to a field with the river just beyond. Little One Step is about to give up at the sight of the field but, with coaxing, marches through the field, bypasses his brothers, goes through undergrowth into a clearing, and comes upon Mama. It is a happy reunion, as Little One Step tells Mama his new name and steps into the river. The encouraging tale is complemented by gentle watercolor-and-ink drawings with warm tans, yellows, and pinks. It introduces the young child to ways of undertaking and completing great journeys in life by focusing on the individual steps along the way. Now available in a board book format. Reviewer: Carol Raker Collins, Ph.D.

School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-When three ducklings are lost in the forest and the littlest one is too tired to carry on, his brothers convince him that any journey consists of one step at a time. With eloquent strokes of his pen, James evokes the range of emotions in this empowering story. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Make Way for . . . MORE Ducklings! And a delightful trio they are. When three duckling brothers get lost while crossing a forest to find their mother, the little one complains: "I want my mama. My legs feel all wobbly." His older brothers teach him the "One Step." He practices and they dub him a new name "Little One Step." And so he marches on, head down, one foot in front of the other, eventually leading the way home. The expressive, sketchy watercolor illustrations are precisely in step with the simple language. The palette of pale yellow and tangerine brushed against an expanse of white space effectively creates an airy, breezy feeling and aerial perspectives convey Little One Step’s small, intimidated feeling. A wonderful example of unity in a picture book, the pictures and text mesh perfectly and the artwork extends the storyline (throughout the scenes the phrase "one step" is repeated and handwritten, following Little One Step as he forges on). The clean, spacious design underscores the spirit and perseverance of the little duckling and the tale will encourage children to go ahead and take that first step. James’s bird form is familiar from his Birdwatchers (2002); with just a few lines he creates ducks with panache. This book has the classic feeling of a modern day Make Way for Ducklings; it should become a favorite for lap sharing and afterward, kids demonstrating their own steps. Totally charming. (Picture book. 4-7)

Product Details

Candlewick Press
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
8.75(w) x 12.00(h) x 0.35(d)
AD90L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Simon James is the author-illustrator of many acclaimed books for children, including the hilarious series about Baby Brains, the Jake books, and LEON AND BOB. He lives in Devon, England.

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Little One Step 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
psycheKK More than 1 year ago
This book is so true! When my son was a toddler, he'd run around the house like an idiot, or run through the library pulling books off of the shelves if I set him down for a SECOND. But did he walk on his own when I wanted him to? -- No way! And so, Little One Step finds he can walk no farther.  I could have sworn that the author is French, because he style is so clean, simple, and yet elegant, but when I looked on the back cover, he appears to be as American as I am. So, there is hope for me yet in the elegance department.  Anyway, Little One Step is a sweet, encouraging book for anyone, especially anyone who needs a little encouragement.