Step Gently Out by Helen Frost and illustrated by Rick Lieder (Candlewick, 2012) is a lovely poem illustrated by photographs of the smallest creatures outside. Bees on a flower, an ant, a cricket singing, a spider on a silken thread.
The poem is lovely, and the pictures invite the reader in to the natural world. I was amazed at how well the poetry and the images wove together. I found myself wondering which came first: the lovely poem or the images that captured the words. I am a very amateur photographer, and I could not believe the careful photographs.
The last page of the book tells about some of the animals. I loved how the insects shown in this book were ones that are found in our backyards. This is a great book for helping kids come to appreciate the small creatures in their own outside world.
That said, I struggled to interest my five-year-old with the book. I don’t know what it was about it, but the book simply did not interest him. Older children may be better prepared for this poetic and photographic picture book.
Cybils 2012 nominee.