cover image Step by Step

Step by Step

Diane Wolkstein. HarperCollins, $15 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-688-10315-6

Over a stone, across a leaf, under a branch--step by step, a red-sneakered ant wends her way to meet her friend the grasshopper. Together, the two enjoy an outing, then the ant travels home again, step by step, arriving just before dark. Although the story line is slight and the pair's adventures practically nonexistent, Wolkstein's pacing is expert. Here, repetition of the phrase ``step by step'' propels the tale and sets the stage for a rhythmic, reassuring read-aloud. Smith's larger-than-life illustrations provide an ant's-eye view of the world; solid attention to detail and gentle anthropomorphization of the ant and her friend make this, if not a show-stopper, decidedly reader-friendly. Ages 3-up. (Apr.)