March 20, 2015

Perfect Picture Book Friday - Step Gently Out

Happy First Day of Spring!!!

Pay no attention to the fact that it's freezing cold and snowing!

SPRING is officially HERE!

We should definitely celebrate with spring-colored cake!  Help yourselves :)

Lemon Cake with Lavender Icing -
pretty AND delicious :)
In celebration of spring and getting outdoors, I have such a beautiful, beautiful book to share with you!  I hope you'll love it as much as I do!

Step Gently Out
Written By: Helen Frost
Photography By: Rick Lieder
Candlewick, March 2012, Fiction

Themes/Topics: nature, insects, taking time to look closely, poetry

Suitable For: ages 2-7

Opening: "Step gently out,/ be still, and watch a single blade of grass."

Brief Synopsis: (From the Booklist 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.""

Links To Resources: the back of the book includes lots of information on all the insects pictured - a resource all in itself.  In addition, here are some Insect Coloring Pages.  Try taking some photographs of your own.  Try writing a short poem about an insect.

Why I Like This Book:  I am always in favor of books that encourage kids to go outside and look closely at the real world around them, really observe it, think about it, be part of it.  I'm not an insect lover per se :), but this book is amazingly beautiful.  I cannot stress enough how absolutely exquisite the photography is.  Such detail!  I wish I could share every page, but that would probably be frowned upon :)  Here's one more little sample:


It's breathtaking, isn't it? and I think kids and adults alike will thoroughly enjoy looking at it, especially in combination with the poetic text which is as gorgeous in it's imagery as the photography is.  This book is a feast for eyes and ears and hearts!

For the complete list of books with resources, please visit Perfect Picture Books.

PPBF bloggers please be sure to leave your post-specific link in the list below so we can all come visit you!   And now everyone go out and enjoy Spring!  Just, if you live in my neck of the woods, put on your jacket... your hat... your snow boots... your scarf... your mittens... and then go frolic :)

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone! :)


Reactions:

61 comments:

  1. It is good to step out into nature and look around (with the magnifying glasses). Those photos are gorgeous. My daughter has been learning about insects at school this term and is keen to go searching for a butterfly on the weekend. That sponge cake looks divine too!

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  2. The book sounds amazing! I love poetry and I think it's interesting that the poems are written from a bug's perspective. I checked my library and they have it! So I will get to enjoy all the beautiful photos and poetry.
    That cake looks yummy! A perfect way to celebrate!

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  3. What a great book. The photography is amazing and makes you just want to head outside and explore. Thanks for the cake! And yes, our snow IS melting!

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  4. I've learned so much from Helen Frost. I'm lucky to be in her SCBWI circle. Great writer, speaker and person!

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  5. Beautiful book with gorgeous pictures Susanna, but that cake has got to go.... I just put on 10lbs looking at that... :)) Just reminded me of an icecream I had a week ago same colour Taro icecream, to die for! Have a great weekend.

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  6. You've got a lovely book there! And though I doubt I could manage a slice, I'd take a bite and a long whiff of that cake! Happy SPRING! (You are welcome to our warm days, just come to CO!)

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  7. Perfect choice to usher in spring. A lot of children are fascinated with bugs and insects and would find this beautiful book fascinating. Gorgeous photographs. And, I love the title. Spring is beginning to arrive in Ohio.

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  8. What a beautiful book, Susanna! I know spring is here because the birds are singing...probably saying it's about time. :) We've still got PLENTY of snow...should be gone by June...maybe. :)
    I think my PPBF pick has been done already...but I just discovered the book and I'm using it as a mentor text for Carrie Charley Brown's ReFoReMo and wanted to share it.

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  9. Not to be smug, because it's not good news, we in the Pacific Northwest skipped winter this year. Hardly any rain. The daffodils are done. It is heartbreakingly beautiful. Couldn't agree more that anything that encourages children to get outside and closely observe bugs, get down and dirty, is a winner. We need more people who love the outdoors.

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  10. I've heard about the Pacific Northwest from my son who lives in Olympia. He has been out cutting grass for the second time while ours is covered with a new coat of snow.


    This Climate change is scary not keeping climate the way it was for eons. We really need to something. Us and China. :)

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  11. This book does sound great for spring and summer. What child hasn't loved watching insects on flowers? And grass? The three year olds in particular love the itty bitty things in nature. Great pick , Susanna!


    Weather will be warmer next weekend I think. Hang in there. :)

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  12. I've read that it's beautiful! I'm so glad we don't have snow here. Every morning Hannah goes to the window to see if it's good enough for the trampoline to go up. I hope your snow clears up soon.

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  13. Snowing hard here! Boo! I love this book. I think it's the kind of book you have to have a "named" poet submit in order to get published. My post didn't get done in time but it looks like there are a LOT to read, so I'm glad I'm saving everyone time today. :)

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  14. Ooooh. I'm checking this one out right away. Another winner!

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  15. It's warm and sunny here today. But I thought I was going to freeze to death at my son's baseball game the other night. It was blowing like stink and probably 50 degrees outside. Two and a half hours of sitting on metal bleachers as the sun went down. I know. I get no sympathy from those sitting in a pile of snow....

    Love the book! I love how we get a real bee's eye view! :D

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  16. Wow. What an amazing book, and one I probably wouldn't have picked up on my own. That's what I love about PPBF!

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  17. Thank you for sharing this, Susanna! I've put the book on HOLD at our local library and can't wait to see it. So happy to know that spring has finally arrived in your neck of the woods. You deserve it!

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  18. I think we are replacing the snow that melted! Happy Spring anyway! That sounds like a great book but I have to be honest. I don't like the cover. I hate ants. They give me the creeps especially the time they were crawling out of my toaster! Don't get me wrong, I love the outdoors ,but could do without ants.

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  19. I'm just in from picking three what-seem-like-swimming-pool-sized trash cans of pollen and weeds out of the yard, flower beds and pool and I'm thankful for no insects and only two ant piles. I do like look at them and study them in a book, just not in real life. Oh, and thanks for the beautiful cake picture. Yum, yum!

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  20. Exquisite Book!!! I'm an insect lover, and just took some pics of a couple bees pollinating my paper white crocuses. What a treasure to find your book right after. It looks enchanting, and harmonious text to boot! Thanks for sharing Susanna, and I hope your weather warms up soon.

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  21. I love that opening line. It sure makes me want to see some grass!

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  22. Thanks for telling me about this. I just ordered from my library. Can't wait to read it.

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  23. I hope you like it, Rosi! it's SO beautiful - both text and pictures!

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  24. I know! I forget what it looks like :) Although my husband sent me a picture of Central Park on my phone and there was barely any snow in it - unlike Blueberry Hill which still has a good foot! And more coming down as we speak!

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  25. As an insect lover, you will REALLY enjoy this book. It's gorgeous. I don't know how people take such exquisite close up photos, but wow! I hope you get a chance to see the whole book, Michelle! And I hope it warms up soon too - it is seriously snowing right now!

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  26. I know :) It's easy to appreciate the beauty in a book :) And these are truly gorgeous photographs! Enjoy the cake (and the mostly lack of insects in your garden :))

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  27. Oh, I totally get it! One time I took down the hummingbird feeder which I thought was empty, brought it into the kitchen to clean and refill, and when I opened it, ants just swarmed out ALL over the place, running and crawling all over the sink and counters - it was AWFUL! So yeah... I get that :) But the book is really beautiful :)

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  28. I hope you like the book, Anne - I love the poetry of the language and the beautiful close-up photography - just gorgeous! As for spring, it technically arrived at 6:45 PM, but we got several inches of snow today, so someone's having a good laugh somewhere :)

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  29. I think you will love it, Joanne. Helen Frost's language is wonderful - so simple and so beautiful! and the photographs are stunning!

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  30. No sympathy indeed! since the day before yesterday it was 18 and blowing like stink! Glad you like the book - it's a beauty! Now you take care to stay warm at those baseball games - bring some hand warmers and a thermos of hot cocoa! :)

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  31. I hoe you like it as much as I do, Jarm - so beautiful in every way!

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  32. Snowing hard here too - Boo! is right! I'm glad you like the book, and no worries about your post. I'm so far behind it's not even funny. I'm just going to slog along as best I can :)

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  33. Oh, I'm glad you love it too! And don't be rubbing it in about no snow, Mrs. Johnson! Hope Hannah gets her trampoline up soon :)

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  34. It is a lovely book, Clar! and thanks for the weather encouragement - I will try to hang in :)

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  35. Well, I'm jealous of your weather, but sorry about what it probably means in terms of summer dryness. And I'm glad you like the book and getting outside and getting dirty :)

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  36. I'm glad you like the book, Vivian! And I know - our birds are singing spring too in spite of the snow... which is falling as we speak... will it ever stop? I'm thinking June is overly optimistic :) No worries if your book has been done. We're past that point :) Now I'm curious to see what it is since you're using it as a mentor text!

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  37. I'm glad you like it, Pat - it's such a lovely one! And spring is coming to Ohio? I'm so jealous! Although our birds' song has changed... I think they know something... and I'm hoping that it's that spring is really on the way :)

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  38. I'm glad you like it, Julie! And the cake! :) I would LOVE to come to CO... but none of the hopefully upcoming college revisits are in that neck of the woods...

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  39. Ooh! I've never had Taro ice cream, but last summer in Lancaster, PA I had lemon ginger ice cream and it was to die for! :) Glad you like the book, Diane! Have a lovely, lovely weekend! :)

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  40. The season of spring is arriving on the prairie. The robins have returned and I note buds on the trees. Sharing the beauty of nature with kids is so important and this book looks like a must read that will encourage kids to look closer. Happy Spring to you, Susanna. Hope today's snowfall is the last one for the season.

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  41. Oh my goodness - you've met her in person? Lucky! She is so talented!

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  42. I'm so glad you like the book, Sue! And our snow WAS melting... but then it stopped... and froze over... and now we're getting more... Clearly someone's idea of a cosmic joke :)

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  43. Oh, I hope you like it, Penny! Let me know! This is one of those books that is so deceptively simple, so beautiful, and I wish I wrote it! :)

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  44. Good luck with the butterflies! I have a friend who raises honey bees, and they are pretty amazing!

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  45. Oh, Suzy, how lovely! I think I want to move to the prairie :) I can't WAIT to see robins! Happy Spring to you too :)

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  46. It seems the language is as lovely as the photographs. Definitely requesting this one from the library. Thanks, Susanna!

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  47. This_Kid_Reviews_Books_ErikMarch 21, 2015 at 11:44 AM

    YAY!! 5+ inches of snow here! :D
    Great PPBF choice! :D

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  48. Apparently you NEVER get tired of snow, Erik! :)

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  49. I hope you like it as much as I do, Joanne! :)

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  50. Such a lovely shade of lavender icing on the cake you're sharing, Susanna! I so enjoy books that encourage kiddos to explore the great outdoors and this one sounds like a dandy. Happy spring!

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  51. Jennifer Cole JuddMarch 21, 2015 at 4:47 PM

    First time commenter here! :) This book is gorgeous! Going to request this one from my library, too. Today, the pear trees were full of white blossoms (might explain my scratchy throat!), so this reminded me to get the kids outside and go enjoy some nature!

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  52. Amy @ Sunlit PagesMarch 21, 2015 at 7:53 PM

    This is one of my very favorite picture books . . . and I don't even like bugs!

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  53. I'm not a fan of bugs either, Susanna, though I totally appreciate why they're here :) I agree with you about encouraging kids to get out and be a true part of the breathtaking world we inhabit along with so many other amazing creatures!

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  54. The cake looks so delicious! Step Gently Out looks and sounds like a book I will love because I love outdoors and so many kids I know do not get outside enough. Thanks for the recommendation. :) Jess

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  55. Hi Jennifer! So lovely to "meet" you :) Thank you for stopping by! I hope you like this book as much as I do - it's such a lovely one. And I am sorry for your scratchy throat, but jealous of any blossoms since we still have a foot of snow and it's 10 degrees this morning!

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  56. I know - doesn't it look yummy? How you can not love that springy shade of purple :) Glad you like the book, and happy spring to you too - I hope it's springier at your house than it is at mine right now! :)

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  57. I know. I'm afraid a lot of kids are losing that, what with the lure of screens...

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  58. You're very welcome, Jess! I hope you like it as much as I do. The photography is breathtaking, and the poetry is so simple and so beautiful - one of those "wish I wrote it" books :)

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  59. Looks like another great list. Totally missed it last week .... finally making my rounds.

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  60. No worries, Stacy! I'm behind too! I've had kids home on spring vacation... 'nuff said :)

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