Our Tree Named Steve
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Our Tree Named Steve

4.42 of 5 stars 4.42  ·  rating details  ·  392 ratings  ·  103 reviews
Dear Kids, A long time ago, when you were little, Mom and I took you to where we wanted to build a house. . . . I remember there was one tree, however, that the three of you couldn't stop staring at. . . .

After the family spares him from the builders, Steve the tree quickly works his way into their lives. He holds their underwear when the dryer breaks down, he's there whe

Paperback, 32 pages
Published February 15th 2007 by Puffin (first published March 17th 2005)
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Jun 17, 2014 Sue rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Sue by: Tim Capehart
I learned of this book from a friend who is a children's librarian. What a lovely story this is...of family, of home, of loyalty,of love, of loss. It's also well illustrated in a whimsically realistic way. Steve, the tree, becomes a member of the family and you, the reader, will live and grow with him. The book also has a place in discussions of loss for parents and children.

Recommended for adults and children
Lisa Vegan
Mar 19, 2013 Lisa Vegan rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: tree lovers; readers who enjoy family stories; anyone who appreciates beautiful illustrations
Recommended to Lisa by: Crystal Marcos
Oh, this is a gem of a story and it has gorgeous illustrations. If you want to read a sweet, amusing, and ultimately sort of sad but ultimately uplifting tree story, read this one and skip The Giving Tree. (Sorry to fans of that book.)

This story is about a family who saves a tree that lives on the land where they build a family house. I love how the tree gets its name, I love how the tree serves various functions as this loving family grows, and I love that this story is told via a letter by the...more
Crystal Marcos
I have read this book to my daughter several times and every time I read it, I love it more. I really enjoy the artwork and the way the book is written as a letter from a father to his children. The story made me smile and feel all warm and fuzzy inside. The author did a wonderful job of telling the story of a family and their best friend, a tree named Steve. Great add to our home collection.
Cheryl in CC NV
Oh wow. I had no idea this would be so wonderful. Just darling. And the ending - perfect! - first I almost cried, then I felt peaceful acceptance. This would actually make a good gift for someone (view spoiler).

Simple & authentic enough for all ages above rugrat, and the pictures are detailed but not fussy, lively and pretty but not pretentiously gorgeous.
Apr 24, 2008 lucem rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: preschool to second
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Our Tree Named Steve is a heartwarming story about the tree outside a family’s house. It’s written in the form of a letter by a father, to his children. He reminds them of when they found the lot to build their house and the children had an immediate attraction to a tree in the front yard, so they couldn’t bear to cut it down. He reminded them about how the youngest child couldn’t say tree so she called it “Steve”. As the letter goes on, the father relives the many memories the family has shared...more
This book is so beautiful and has such a wonderful message. I originally picked it up because it has such beautiful pictures but as i turned the pages I began to realize that as the kids grow older and change, the tree changes a bit too. The leaves change and it gets to be a little older looking but I love how the tree looks almost the exact same on every page and that it is in the same spot, just like it was to their family. I love how the tree got his name too. This just goes to show that some...more
A heart-tugging letter from a father to his three children, Adam, Lindsey, and Sari, that expresses his grief over the death of their beloved tree, Steve. Steve was a loyal friend, through the seasons, through the years...but, eventually gave out. The memories shared from father to children serves as a poignant reminder of the cycle of life.

Our Tree Named Steve is wonderfully illustrated by David Catrow with expressive, evocative pictures which we can all relate to.
Summary: This is a story written as a letter from a father to his children about there favorite tree in the yard. The letter talks about how the tree came to be so loved and cherished by the family. The letter ends by talking about a great disaster that strikes the tree and tries to make the children feel better about it.

Evaluation: I felt like this was a good book for a read aloud. I really enjoyed reading it and would use it in my own classrooms to introduce different text formats(this was wr...more
E.F. Jace
This book is amazing. That's pretty much all that needs to be said, pick it up and give it a read. My little sister read it, who passed it to my mom, who then passed it to me and now I'm sharing it with you guys.
My 3y really enjoyed this book. Cute storyline with interesting pictures. Book was recommend, thanks.
The wonderful story along with the incredible illustrations is superb!
True story. Family has a tree named Steve! Sweet.
Stacey Hoffman
Our Tree Named Steve, by Alan Zweibel, is a children's picture book. It is a winner of the Bill Martin, Jr. Picture Book Award.

The story is actually a letter that Dad is writing to his kids, Adam, Lindsay, and Sari about their tree, Steve. In the letter, Dad reminds his kids about when they first looked at the land where they were going to build their house. One of the trees, which Sari called "Steve", was very special to the children so the tree was spared when the house was built. Throughout...more
At the heart of this book, the author writes, "Through the years Mom and I have tried to show you, in a world filled with strangers, the peace that comes with having things you can count on and a safe place to return to after a hard day or a long trip." The book describes the long life of a tree that is part of the author's family, so much so that they have named the tree, "Steve." The book portrays family life and provides young readers with some idea how they are able to fit into a family, be...more
Loved this book-it provides a healthy perspective on loss- a tree is a living thing and becomes part of this family's life. I will be honest- I teared up a bit at the end, but the story comes full circle. The narrative voice is wonderful and the pictures reinforce the story- the tree is a constant in their lives until the end, and in the pictures it is always in the same spot on the page, until the final page, which concludes the story and the tree's life.
Megan Boomgarden
This book is structured with a two page layout with the entire spread being covered in pencil and watercolor artwork. The detailing in the paintings and the different brushstrokes give the artwork a lot of texture and visual appeal. Most of the pages seemed to have what i would describe as a "theme color" in which the painting is mostly produced with different shades of the same color. Greens, blues, and yellows appeared most often with pinks and purples popping in here and there. The artwork am...more
Nov 18, 2013 Dolly rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
Shelves: 2013, childrens, pets
This is such a sweet tribute to a tree and how that tree impacted a family's life. The narrative is written as a letter, reminiscing about the wonderful times the family spent around the tree as the years flew by. The ending is sad, but touching. I noticed that the author's dedication included people mentioned in the story, so I get the feeling that this tale was at least based on the author's life.

We recognized David Catrow's illustrations right away and I loved seeing the children grow up with...more
Denise Choate
2005 - Fiction

This picture book is written in a friendly letter form from a father to his three children all about one huge special tree. A young family purchases a piece of land and had to clear many of its trees in order to build their home and start their life. In the process of showing their three young children their new home and land, all three children gravitate to this huge mesmerizing tree their two-and-a-half name "Steve". Before you know it "Steve" is saved from the family cutting it...more
Eileen Forrest
This is a sweet book about the role a tree played in one family's life. The illustrations are beautiful. The story is both simple and complex and can be used for a variety of purposes and with a wide range of readers.
I picked this up in passing at the library today and was pulled in by the title. (I had a few trees that I called by name when I was a kid.) This book tells the story of a tree that the family calls Steve. It was there when they built their house and the kids grew up and played in its embrace. The story is written as a letter from the parents to the kids at camp letting them know that a storm had come through and they weren't able to save Steve.
It's a touching book for anybody that has fond mem...more
Kelly Miller
Such a precious book about love and friendship. I teach 3rd grade and they love this book.
Sep 23, 2009 Taya rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: pbgs-1
This book used such a creative means by which to discuss the themes of love, loss, and cherished memories. The illustrations were an extremely powerful addition to the story line by depicting emotion through the use of colors. The reader could tell when the story took a sadder turn, because the coloring became more dramatic and reflected the tone of the story. One very noticeable feature was the family dog, who managed to make an appearance at every page turn. Details such as this and the loving...more
Sarah Paul
Title: Our Tree Named Steve
Author: Alan Zweibel
Illustrator: David Catrow
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
Date: 2005
Genre: realistic fiction

This book is delightful! It is about a tree that is valued by a group of children and their family; the pages of the story progress through the tree's life and its involvement with the family. There is so much love and sweet symbols contained within the text. The illustrations captivate the readers and cause them to enter into the story's plot. This would be a gr...more
Read this to my kids today and it was incredibly cute.
Vicki Kier
When a cherished icon of a family's home is destroyed in a storm, a father prepares his children for the loss by writing a letter. In simple, non-sentimental language, Our Tree Named Steve memorializes the predominant role the tree has played in the lives of the family. Melancholy and profoundly present are multiple themes of loss. Catrow's use of color brilliantly captures bittersweet memories as well as changing seasons and moods. An excellent book to share with young children who have lost so...more
Tracee Williams
Great book to introduce natural resources & letter writing.
Megan Marvel
I've never been sad about a tree before.
A family builds a home on a wooded lot, and decides to save an unusual tree named Steve. The family grows to love this tree, using it for a variety of activities. Steve the Tree, really becomes part of the family. Written as a letter from the dad to the kids, we learn of the trees demise and what that means to the family.

Anyone who is halfway sentimental will find themselves BAWLING at the end of the book. Read it a few times alone to inoculate yourself from the emotion before you try reading it...more
A family builds a home on a wooded lot, and decides to save an unusual tree named Steve. The family grows to love this tree, using it for a variety of activities. Steve the Tree, really becomes part of the family. Written as a letter from the dad to the kids, we learn of the trees demise and what that means to the family.

Anyone who is halfway sentimental will find themselves BAWLING at the end of the book. Read it a few times alone to inoculate yourself from the emotion before you try reading it...more
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