Cover image for Do you know what I'll do?
Do you know what I'll do?
Zolotow, Charlotte, 1915-2013.
Revised and newly illustrations edition.
Publication Information:
New York : HarperCollinsPublishers, 2000.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 23 x 26 cm
A little girl delights her brother with a series of promises about all the wonderful things she'll do to make him happy as they both grow up.
Reading Level:
AD 300 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 1.9 0.5 43013.

Reading Counts RC K-2 1.7 1 Quiz: 23969 Guided reading level: J.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Childrens Area-Picture Books
PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



One day a little girl said to her brother...

Do you know what I'll do at the seashore?

I'll bring you a shell to hold the sound of the sea.

In a little girl's magical question-and-answer game, Charlotte Zolotow captures, with unerring childlike simplicity, a sister's special love for her little brother. Javaka Steptoe's bold artwork offers a stunning new interpretation of the reassuring, lyrical text and brings to yet another generation of children this well-loved story.

Author Notes

Charlotte Zolotow was born Charlotte Gertrude Shapiro on June 26, 1915 in Norfolk, Virginia. She studied at the University of Wisconsin, where she took classes in art, writing and child psychology. She began her publishing career in New York, in the adult trade-book division of what is now known as HarperCollins, but eventually took a job in the children's division. As an editor, she presided over her own imprint, Charlotte Zolotow Books. She was named publisher emerita at HarperCollins in 1991.

Her first picture book, The Park Book, was published in 1944. During her lifetime, she wrote more than 90 children's books including Mr. Rabbit and the Lovely Present, My Grandson Lew, William's Doll, The Hating Book, and The Seashore Book. In 1998, the Cooperative Children's Book Center (CCBC) at the Univeristy of Wisconsin - Madison's School of Education established the Charlotte Zolotow Award, which is an American literary award presented annually for outstanding picture book writing published in the United States in the preceding year. Zolotow died on November 19, 2013 at the age of 98.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 3-7. Bold new illustrations featuring African American characters heighten the text of Zolotow's 1958 classic about a young girl's tender question-and-answer game with her brother. Mixed-media collages set against white backgrounds beautifully expand the simple, poetic words, shaping in just a few images the exuberant character of the sister as she dotes, cherishes, bosses, dazzles, and comforts her younger brother. Created from painted wood, fake fur, and fabric cutouts, the collages are filled with the material details contemporary kids will relate to, but they also reflect the emotional details of sibling life--the private, elaborate games, the fierce love, and children's shifting moods. In one spread, a stunning composition of the girl's round serene face above a round pail accompanies text reading, "Do you know what I'll do when it rains? I'll catch the rain in a pail for your plants." In another, the girl, wonderfully garish in blue eye-shadow, pink boa, and Billie Holiday orchids, belts a song into a microphone: "Do you know what I'll do at the movies? I'll remember the song and sing it to you." Whatever their position in the family lineup, young ones will find themselves in this startling, spot-on portrayal of loving, creative siblings. --Gillian Engberg

Publisher's Weekly Review

Steptoe's (In Daddy's Arms, I Am Tall) bold mixed-media collages invigorate Zolotow's (Mr. Rabbit and the Lovely Present) tender 1958 tale of a girl's affection for her brother. As Zolotow's poetic images flow in a rhythmic question-and-answer format ("Do you know what I'll do when it snows?/ I'll make you a snowman.// Do you know what I'll do when the wind blows?/ I'll put it in a bottle and let it loose when the house is hot"), Steptoe responds in kind. He depicts a bottle of wind containing snowflakes and a tiny image of the snowman built by the girl in a prior spread. His stunning illustrations, comprised of painted plywood, cardboard and paper, along with fabric, ribbons, buttons, seashells and so on, create layered, almost three-dimensional portraits of the striking African-American siblings. Their love for each other is tangible, yet he injects the same playfulness and humor inherent in the text. For "Do you know what I'll do at the movies?/ I'll remember the song and sing it to you," Steptoe shows the sister striking a Billie Holiday pose, complete with flower hair ornaments and a fuchsia feather boa. Simple, rounded lines and a resonant white backdrop set off the brilliant colors (fans of John Steptoe's work can't help but notice a resemblance). Both author and artist prove they know how to convey a strong sense of familial love. Ages 3-7. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 1-"One day a little girl said to her little brother-Do you know what I'll do when the flowers grow again? I'll pick you a bunch and you'll be happy." So begins this lyric narrative, as a child describes her love for her brother by listing all the things she will do for him. Zolotow's text, originally illustrated by Garth Williams (HarperCollins, 1958), zeros in on that special kind of tenderness between siblings. Steptoe's mixed-media collages, made mostly from wood and paint, have a three-dimensional quality and project the emotion of the text. The artist gets precise detail with broad strokes, and his vibrant compositions leap from and move across the stark white spreads. The layout is simple but effective. The text is only slightly revised, replacing "movie" with "movies," and rephrasing the final question from "Do you know what I'll do when I grow up and am married?" to "-when I grow up and have a baby?" The answer to both is, "I'll bring you my baby to hug. Like this." Steptoe's artwork is decidedly modern, yet timeless in its depiction of an African-American family. It is familiar, yet fresh, just as Zolotow's voice was to the children's book scene over 50 years ago, and continues to be today.-Nina Lindsay, Oakland Public Library, CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.