LITTLE ONE STEP by Simon James
Kirkus Star


by & illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 7
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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)

Pub Date: March 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-7636-2070-X
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Candlewick
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 2003


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