Step Gently Out
  • Alternative view 1 of Step Gently Out
  • Alternative view 2 of Step Gently Out

Step Gently Out

4.5 2
by Helen Frost
     
 
Stunning close-up photography and a lyrical text implore children to look more closely at the world around them.

Be still, and watch a single blade of grass.
An ant climbs up to look around.
A honeybee flies past.

What would happen if you walked very, very quietly and looked ever so carefully at the natural world outside? You might see a

Overview

Stunning close-up photography and a lyrical text implore children to look more closely at the world around them.

Be still, and watch a single blade of grass.
An ant climbs up to look around.
A honeybee flies past.

What would happen if you walked very, very quietly and looked ever so carefully at the natural world outside? You might see a cricket leap, a moth spread her wings, or a spider step across a silken web. In simple, evocative language, Helen Frost offers a hint at the many tiny creatures around us. And in astonishing close-up photographs, Rick Lieder captures the glint of a katydid's eye, the glow of a firefly, and many more living wonders just awaiting discovery. Fascinating facts about all the creatures pictured may be found at the end.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Captivating photography gives readers a closeup view of the world of insects, as described by a gently contemplative poem. Lieder captures the small miracles of a bumblebee in mid-flight, a spider dangling from a dewy branch, and a firefly’s flash, while Frost urges readers to be mindful of events that seem insignificant: “A spider spins a silken thread/ to step across the air./ A praying mantis looks at you—/ do you know she’s there?” Working in concert, the words and images achieve a Zenlike calm that also hints at the complicated web of life unfolding all around. Endnotes discuss the 11 featured insects in greater detail. Ages 2–5. (Mar.)
From the Publisher
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)

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
"Step gently out," this lyrical poem invites the reader. Then it's time to "be still and watch" some of the creatures that are out there to examine. Lieder's photographs, on single or double pages, illuminate the lines of verse. We see a climbing ant, a flying honeybee, a cricket, a moth, a spider, a praying mantis, and as evening falls, a firefly, a katydid, and a damsel fly. Lieder takes advantage of whatever light source acts like a spotlight so that the center of interest is surrounded by luminescence: sometimes fuzzy green, at times a glow out of the black, another time a brilliant yellow. We are offered visual information from these close-up photographs, but always in a romantic context, like the dewdrops encrusting delicate twigs or a hazy backdrop of modulated green. End pages add two portraits to the overall drama; the paper jacket contributes more. The solid color cover has a single embossed ant. Final pages add facts about each of the creatures included. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
Gr 1–4—Poetic lines and intriguing photographs invite readers to observe a host of insects that "share the world" with us. Seen in magnified close-up views against soft-focus backgrounds, "a honeybee flies past..../A cricket leaps/and lands, then sits back/and sings." Caterpillars, ants, moths, a praying mantis, and a katydid are among the small creatures that are "bathed in golden light" and "as evening turns to night,/the creatures shine with stardust. Then they're splashed with morning dew." Frost's spare text is nicely rhythmic and falls into long rhyming couplets. Appearing in small chunks set in inviting double-page pictures, the poem reads rather as blank verse, the imagery and phrasing pleasing when shared aloud. The felicitous pairing of poetry and pictures is enjoyable and useful. A glossary cites the species name of each insect with a brief paragraph describing some of its behavior.—Margaret Bush, Simmons College, Boston
Kirkus Reviews
Breathtaking photos and an exquisite poem capture a bug's-eye view of nature. One can only hope the present collaboration will be the first of many between nature photographer Lieder and Frost (Hidden, 2011, etc.), one of the most gifted, versatile children's poets writing today, for the synthesis of word and image in this short picture book is so finely wed that the final page turn leaves one begging for more. 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. "Step gently out," Frost advises, pointing out how "the creatures shine with stardust, / they're splashed with morning dew. / In song and dance and stillness, they share the world with you." Golden-hued endpapers catch a honeybee and firefly mid-flight; the volume also spotlights the less-frequently spied praying mantis, katydid and damselfly, alongside more common insects. For precise readers wishing to know, for example, that the fuzzy, stoplight-colored creature twisting around a blade of grass happens to be a tussock moth caterpillar, the volume's endnotes include brief descriptions of the featured species. A dazzlingly poetic photo album of the insect world for tots on up. (Picture book. 2 & up)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780763656010
Publisher:
Candlewick Press
Publication date:
03/13/2012
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
620,014
Product dimensions:
10.00(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.50(d)
Lexile:
AD460L (what's this?)
Age Range:
2 - 5 Years

Meet the Author

Helen Frost is the author of Monarch and Milkweed as well as six novels-in-poems for children and young adults. She lives in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Rick Lieder is a nature photographer, artist, and book-jacket designer. He lives in Michigan.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Step Gently Out 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
ChatWithVera 4 months ago
If you've ever quietly watched an insect or "bug" you have probably noticed how they seem to move with practiced or deliberate ease and gentleness. So in Step Gently Out the author and photographer show us their beauty.... Frost and Lieder take us through the day - morning sunshine, evening shadows and dark, and then the dew of morning. This is a lovely trek through the day as ...... "In song and dance and stillness, they share the world with you." A gentle reminder that we're not alone in this world, we share it with the insects, the birds, the critters. "A spider spins a silken thread and steps across the air." "A praying mantis looks at you - do you know she's there?" At the end of the book, Step Gently Out, there are two pages for the reader to learn more about each of the insects pictured in the book. Another great opportunity to educate with a beautiful book. I just became acquainted with the beautiful works of Helen Frost and photographer Rick Lieder and have fallen in love with and am awed with the splendid beauty of the photography as it captures the wonders of birds and insects. The sparse lines of prose so beautifully intersect with the beauty of the images that one's mind journeys deeply into the eye-capturing visions of loveliness. Published by Candlewick Press these are considered children's books but should also be considered as a coffee table keepsake book that one can pickup and take a few moments to gaze and revel in our absolutely lovely world. I heartily recommend all three of the books in the series! I just became acquainted with the beautiful works of Helen Frost and photographer Rick Lieder and have fallen in love with and am awed with the splendid beauty of the photography as it captures the wonders of birds and insects. The sparse lines of prose so beautifully intersect with the beauty of the images that one's mind journeys deeply into the eye-capturing visions of loveliness. Published by Candlewick Press these are considered children's books but should also be considered as a coffee table keepsake book that one can pickup and take a few moments to gaze and revel in our absolutely lovely world. I heartily recommend all three of the books in the series! I received a complimentary copy to facilitate this review. Opinions are my own & I was not compensated. Reviewed by: Chat With Vera
Anonymous More than 1 year ago