Simon James, Author . Candlewick $15.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-7636-2070-7

James (Leon and Bob; the Jake books) alluringly simple story introduces three duckling brothers who are lost in the woods. When the youngest announces that he wants his mama and that his legs "feel all wobbly," his understanding and sage oldest sibling comes to his rescue by urging him to try "doing One Step." His clear instructions ("Just lift one foot like this... and say 'one.'... Then put it down in front and say 'step!' ") do the trick. The little fellow forgets his fears as he concentrates on putting one tiny webbed foot in front of the other, all the way back to their waiting mother. Featuring beige and light golden tones, James's almost monochromatic watercolor-and-ink pictures match the understated and winsome qualities of the narrative. Changing perspectives convey the towering trees that make Little One Step's legs go "wobbly" while spot illustrations chronicle his growing confidence as he stares at his feet and chants "one step" to himself. In one humorous spread, youngsters will spy these words repeated against the backdrop of a field whose tall grasses completely hide the duckling. A lovely lesson on sibling support and the wisdom of tackling intimidating situations one step at a time. Ages 4-8. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 03/03/2003
Release date: 03/01/2003
Board Books - 24 pages - 978-0-7636-3520-6
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