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GIANT STEPS TO CHANGE THE WORLD by Spike Lee

GIANT STEPS TO CHANGE THE WORLD

By Spike Lee (Author) , Tonya Lewis Lee (Author) , Sean Qualls (Illustrator)

Age Range: 5 - 8

Pub Date: Jan. 4th, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-689-86815-3
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

The opening two pages of inspirational quotations from men and women both famous and not-quite serve as a de facto table of contents for a series of collages and accompanying homilies (often quite clunky ones) from the Lees. They are addressed to a young boy, literally climbing steps, and exhort all young readers to step up with “might and courage” so that they “will be the foundation that impacts us all.” Adults will have to make the leap between those opening quotes and the following tableaux glorifying such figures as Jesse Owens, Marva Collins, Muhammad Ali, neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson, Mother Teresa, the Tuskegee Airmen and Neil Armstrong, among others, all of whom faced difficulties and aimed high. Qualls uses soft shades of blues, purples and oranges for each pictorial work, applying the paint thickly over pieces of newsprint and torn paper. Best of the bunch is a swirl of lines passing city buildings in homage to Langston Hughes’ “The Negro Speaks of Rivers.” Not really a rousing read-aloud but a solid jumping-off point for discussion. Purposeful in a good way. (Picture book. 5-8)