Reviews for Step Gently Out

Booklist Reviews 2012 April #1
*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." Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2012 Fall
This paean to some of nature's smallest creatures, including ants, crickets, and fireflies, invites children to "be still, and watch." The spare verse is set in large type; dazzling close-up photographs show the insects against soft-focus backgrounds. The overall effect is lovely and contemplative and fosters an appreciation for the small wonders in our world. Additional information about each insect is appended.

Kirkus Reviews 2012 January #1
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) Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2012 January #1

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.)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2012 February

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

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