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Step Gently Out

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  1,974 ratings  ·  255 reviews
Stunning close-up photography and a lyrical text implore children to look more closely at the world around them.

Be still, and watch a single blade of grass.
An ant climbs up to look around.
A honeybee flies past.

What would happen if you walked very, very quietly and looked ever so carefully at the natural world outside? You might see a cricket leap, a moth spread her wings,
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published March 13th 2012 by Candlewick
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4.06  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,974 ratings  ·  255 reviews

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Aug 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I have lots of little soapboxes scattered around my home that I like to pounce on in idle moments. Big soapboxes. Little soapboxes. Anyone who knows me is forced to hear me expound from one of them at least once daily. It's rare that I get to shove two of them together, though. Usually they represent separate entities that don't overlap. Picking up the remarkably gorgeous work that is Helen Frost and Rick Lieder's Step Gently Out, however, allows me to stack one soapbox on top of another. That m ...more
Mary Ann
Dec 31, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Step outside, take some time to be still and just watch the world. Get down low to the ground or close to some plants, and you're sure to see tiny animals going about their business. Frost and Lieder have captured the wonder children experience as they notice these creatures.

Lieder's photography will be the first thing to grab children's attention. Each page brings the reader up close to an insect, as if you were right there crouching in the garden. The animals are caught in crisp, clear detail
Nov 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Melody by: Wendy
Simple and lyrical, the poem illuminates the photographs, the photographs inform the poem. This is a book that Owen would have worn out from reading over and over. The photos are stellar- macro-lens insects and arachnids. It reads the way being a bug-obsessed kid feels, and brought back with crystalline clarity a certain afternoon I stood frozen in a cornfield watching one particular spider go about her life.
Richie Partington
Mar 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picturebooks
Richie’s Picks: STEP GENTLY OUT by Helen Frost and Rick Lieder, photographer, Candlewick, March 2012, 32p., ISBN: 978-0-7636-5601-0

“…the creatures shine with stardust,
they’re splashed with morning dew.
In song and dance and stillness,
they share the world with you.”

“Then Sam saw Gus do another bad trick. It made the firefly laugh and laugh. It was funny to see them go in free to the movie show.
“’Stop your tricks,’ called Sam. ‘No more words!’
“’Stop, Gus! Stop! Now STOP!’”
May 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely STUNNING. What a tribute to nature and the beautiful little creatures we pass by every day without noticing.
Step Gently Out by Helen Frost, illustrated by Rick Lieder features close-up insect photography and a lyrical poem encouraging children to look more closely at the natural world around them.

Lieder's stunningly beautiful close-up photography features honeybees, a Praying Mantis, a Tussock Moth caterpillar, an Eastern Black Carpenter ant, Striped Ground cricket, Chickweed Geometer moth, Orb Weaver spider, Common Yellow Jacket, Pavement Ant, Big Dipper Firefly, Greater Angle-wing Katydid, and Ebony
Angela Bailey
Title / Author / Publication Date:
Step gently out. / Helen Frost. Rick Lieder (Photographer). / 2012.

Genre: Nonfiction.

Format: Picturebook (in verse) - print.

Plot summary:
"Simple, evocative poetic language and close-up photographs invite youngsters to make observations about the natural world while profiling such subjects as a katydid's eye, a spider on a silken web and a glowing firefly" (NoveList).

Considerations or precautions for readers advisory:
nature, insects, poetry

Review citation:
Rebecca Reid
Jul 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
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 ph ...more
Sep 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Step Gently Out by Helen Frost is a rhyming tale of the small creatures that share the world with us. I chose this book because I enjoy nature, and the cover is a photograph of an ant in it's natural environment. Before beginning the story, I looked at the end pages. The beginning end page showed a daytime photograph while the end end page showed a nighttime photograph. The differences provided insight that the story of this book goes from the start of the day to the end of the day. While readin ...more
Mar 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry, ncbla2013
In this simple poem readers are reminded to approach with gentleness the natural world and quietly observe the busy insect and spider world. The photographs are incredible, almost eliciting gasps of awe at the miniscule beauty of an orb-weaver spider or a common yellow jacket whose colors make her decidedly uncommon. Some of the phrases used to describe the insects are particularly memorable; for instance, a yellow jacket is "balanced lightly on a leaf"(unpaginated), and a spider is "splashed wi ...more
Nov 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
"Step gently out, be still and look closely at the world just outside your door-you are sure to be amazed by the tiny creatures you can find. You might see a cricket leap and land, a moth open her wings, a spider walking across the air, or maybe even a praying mantis looking back at you!"--Dust jacket. Close-up photos and lightly-rhymed declarative verse capture a bug's-eye view of nature and encouarge children to experience the world outside their doors with care and openness. Includes insect f ...more
Truly beautiful in words and images. You can tell it was written by a poet and not someone who decided it would be nice to write a rhyming picture book. And Rick Lieder's photographs of tiny creatures are soft, sparkly, and magical. This whole book is like a meditation. Don't forget to look closely at the world and it will reward you with beauty.
Stunning photographs of insects, spiders, and plants enhance Frost's simple poem. Back matter includes information about each creature.
Pretty disappointing.

Basically: bugs on leaves paired with a large-font rhyming poem that I could probably write in eight minutes.
The Styling Librarian
Gorgeous picture book with beautiful photographs and gorgeous poetic texts.
Lu Benke
The photographs in this book worked like paintings on me. I wanted to spend time with each one. I can imagine using this with kids very very slowly. Beautiful!
Nov 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Genre: Nonfiction/Poetry
Grade level: K-2
Plot: Simple poem describing various insects in the world around us.

The book has such vivid illustrations that make you take a pause every time you turn a page. This would be a great book to use in the classroom when teaching about insects. The text is not hard to read but allows for a lot of imagery and involves alliteration. I could see myself connecting science and literacy through this book.
Nov 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
Rick Lieder’s awe-inspiring, close-up photographic illustrations of a variety of insects in their natural habitats provide the perfect background to the gentle words of Helen Frost as she invites the reader to “step gently out” and bask in the whimsical wonders of nature, and to quietly observe and appreciate the oft-overlooked creatures with which we share our world. Young children will be fascinated by the image of a honeybee suspended in mid-flight with pollen covering its tiny underbody, and ...more
Vera Godley
Jun 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
If you've ever quietly watched an insect or "bug" you have probably noticed how they seem to move with practiced or deliberate ease and gentleness. So in Step Gently Out the author and photographer show us their beauty....

Frost and Lieder take us through the day - morning sunshine, evening shadows and dark, and then the dew of morning. This is a lovely trek through the day as ......

"In song and dance and stillness, they share the world with you."

A gentle reminder that we're not alone in this wor
Kajsa Jonsson
Nov 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is about discovering the small things in the world and nature that we live in. This story presents different insects and bugs that we could find outside but that we might not pay a lot of attention to. With a short description of each insect, and photo of each insect, the reader gets to see creatures in our world they might not have seen clearly or cared to see before. At the end of the book, the author included a deeper description of each insect presented in the book.

Major th
Sep 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry-novel
Helen Frost and Rick Lieder's "Step Gently Out" was a simple but wonderfully written poetry book. This poem encourages children to step out into the world and closely examine nature and things around them. This reminded me of my childhood exploring the bugs around me, in my backyard or even on the playground. The words and illustrations flow wonderfully together, with a very close up and detailed illustration on each page. One page reads "A spider spins a silken thread and steps across the air", ...more
Emily Sisco
Jul 07, 2013 rated it liked it
Audience: Primary
Genre: Realistic Fiction, Insects
Pre-Reading Strategy: Rhyming Games

Before class, set out blank pieces of paper and plenty of coloring utensils. Have words picked out from the book for kids to rhyme with.

"Today we are going to look at rhyming. Before we read our story, I'm going to give you a word and I want you to draw a picture or write the word that rhymes with the one I gave you. For example, if I gave you the word tree, you could draw a picture of tea or a bee or write the
Kayla Kupinski
Dec 08, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry-and-verse
This book contains a single poem that references many different insects a child might encounter if he or she took the time to gently view the surrounding world. There is a photograph of each insect mentioned. The poem is followed by a brief description of each insect mentioned. The author’s lyrical verse does a great job of presenting insects in a flattering light. Her style helps the reader associate insects with calmness, serenity, and beauty, which contradict more common views of insects. Fai ...more
Loree Burns
Jun 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
It was the title that grabbed me first. Step Gently Out. There is an ethic in those words, and they have deep meaning for me. When the book was finally in my hands, though, it was the ant on the cover that pulled me in. He is not rendered in paints as I’d thought when I’d seen the book online, but photographed. Captured atop a slender leaf, antennae waving, stepping gently. Completely enchanting.

Would you believe that things got better from there?

Helen Frost’s text is charming, and I can tell yo
Cynnea Schreibman
Apr 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Frost, H., & Lieder, R. (2012). Step Gently Out. Somerville, Mass.: Candlewick Press.

Step Gently Out shows the kinds of creatures you normally wouldn’t think to examine in nature like spiders, moths, crickets, etc. This book also explains in descriptive detail what the animals look like and act. It is lyrical poetry and shows stunning close up photographs. Critique: I thoroughly enjoyed this book, however, it could have had more words and substance to it because I think early grades level co
Tara Meyer
Sep 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Lower Elementary Grades
Shelves: poetry-book
“Step Gently Out”, written by Helen Frost and illustrated by Rick Lieder, is an excellent poem book about insects and their natural habitats. Rick Lieder captures stunning photography of honey bees, praying mantises, shining lightning bugs and more with bold colors and focus. The images draw you in with crystal sharpness and beauty in the simplicity of the plants and insects. The poem has rhythm and rhyme and asks the reader to simply, “step gently out,” as they take this lovely tour through nat ...more
Mar 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
This picture book tells one poem with a line per page. Helen Frost encourages her readers to go outside and quietly observe the many insects that surround us in our gardens. The poem has a rhyme pattern to it which should engage younger readers. Each page has a stunning close up photograph (by Rick Lieder) to accompany the line from the poem. The contrast between the sharp detail of the insect and the blurred background is utterly gorgeous and encourages the reader to focus on just the insect an ...more
Karissa Kelly
Step Gently Out is a book about looking more closely at the world around you. Helen Frost, the author, writes a poem encouraging the reader to take a closer look at the world outside. Rick Lieder provides photographs of insects, and their homes, giving a glimpse to the reader of what an ant, spider web, or a moth looks like up close.

I didn't necessarily enjoy this book, but I did think it would be a good book to introduce nature and insects to a class, especially if you're trying to get them exc
Becky B
A poem by Helen Frost about careful observation of nature around us is accompanied by close-up photography of a variety of insects and spiders. Further information on the insects and spiders highlighted is provided in the back of the book.

If you're looking for a book to use to introduce an insect unit or before exploring the outdoors, this may be just the one. It's short and simple, but rich in content. It encourages readers to look closer and more carefully at the world around them. And the pho
Oct 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This story was very interesting and beautiful. The way they wrote each word to each page came out with simplicity and theatrical. The pictures tell a story that represent everyday outside beautiful creatures. I think children would love to read something like this very book to get started with. I loved the artistic photographs in this book; they are exquisite and breath taking. I love the language in this story; it represents the natural outside world for children to adapt in.This book remind us ...more
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Painter and photographer Rick Lieder has been creating fine art and illustration for many years. His art has appeared on award-winning novels ranging from mysteries and science fiction, to books based on the X-Files TV series and Newbery Award-winning books for children.

His fine art has been exhibited in galleries in the Midwest and Canada, and include painting, photography, and digital art.

His na