Step Right Up: How Doc and Jim Key Taught the World about Kindness

By Daniel Minter and Donna Janell Bowman



William "Doc" Key had a special way with animals. Growing up enslaved in Tennessee, Doc was sent to plantations around the state to care for sick and wounded animals. When the Civil War ended and Doc was freed, he began to dream of breeding a winning racehorse. But those dreams were dashed when his colt was born weak and sickly. Although many people would have euthanized the colt, Doc nursed him back to health and named him Jim.

Noticing a level of curiosity and eagerness in the horse, Doc began teaching Beautiful Jim Key first to recognize letters, then to read, write, add, subtract, and more. Doc soon took his talented horse on the road, spreading a message of patience and kindness, over cruelty, to all animals.

With striking illustrations by Daniel Minter, Step Right Up is the inspiring story of one man and one horse who showed the world the power of kindness.

This biography explores Common Core English Language Arts Standards and Social Studies Standards.

Product Details

Price: $19.95  $18.35
Publisher: Lee & Low Books
Published Date: October 15, 2016
Pages: 48
Dimensions: 9.3 X 0.5 X 10.8 inches | 1.1 pounds
ISBN: 9781620141489

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About the Author

DANIEL MINTER is an award-winning illustrator and adjunct art instructor at Maine College of Art. He received a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award Honor in 2013 for Ellen's Broom. Minter finds inspiration from observing the natural world and thinking about history and science. He also practices Asian and African martial arts, including capoeira angola, karate, and escrima.Minter lives in Portland, Maine, with his wife and their son.
DONNA JANELL BOWMAN first heard about Doc and Jim Key in 2005. She didn't believe that a horse could learn to read, so she began doing her own research and was inspired to tell Doc and Jim's story for young readers. Bowman grew up on a horse ranch and still loves to visit the ranch and its resident horses. Bowman lives in Texas with her husband, their twosons, and their rescue animals, Sparky and Mittens. This is her first picture book.