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Our Tree Named Steve
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Our Tree Named Steve

4.38  ·  Rating Details ·  606 Ratings  ·  147 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 Books (first published March 17th 2005)
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Apr 24, 2008 lucem rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: preschool to second
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Stacey Hoffman
Oct 01, 2008 Stacey Hoffman rated it liked it
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
Denise Choate
Sep 13, 2009 Denise Choate rated it really liked it
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
Jan 14, 2010 Sally rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-book
True story. Family has a tree named Steve! Sweet.
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
Oct 19, 2015 N_kellie rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 31, 2012 Kathryn rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-books
The wonderful story along with the incredible illustrations is superb!
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
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.
Oct 18, 2012 Nicole rated it it was amazing
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
Crystal Marcos
Jan 30, 2013 Crystal Marcos rated it it was amazing
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.
Lisa Vegan
Mar 19, 2013 Lisa Vegan rated it it was amazing  ·  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
My 3y really enjoyed this book. Cute storyline with interesting pictures. Book was recommend, thanks.
Aug 12, 2013 Wayne rated it it was amazing
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
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.
Nov 18, 2013 Dolly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
Shelves: childrens, pets, 2013
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
Jun 09, 2014 Katie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens-lit
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
Jun 17, 2014 Sue rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Becky B
Sep 19, 2014 Becky B rated it liked it
Before the kids have a chance to get back from Grandma's, Dad writes them a letter filled with all the family's warm memories revolving around the tree in the backyard (view spoiler).

A bittersweet ode to childhood memories of all the things a tree can be. In some ways this seems a little silly and overly sentimental, but at the same time (view spoiler)
Nov 12, 2014 Jerrica rated it it was amazing
I really adored this book. Personally, I think this book teaches children about death and disaster in a simple way-- thus being a tree. The "circle of life" is another aspect in this book. I feel that children will understand the concept of death and know how to handle it when that time comes after reading this book.
I really enjoyed all the colors this book carried. I felt that the illustrator really did a good job by making the tree the center of the focus. I feel that the text was also easily
Ruenn Shy
Oct 20, 2015 Ruenn Shy rated it really liked it
It was an ordinary tree until the family arrived to build a house. The youngest couldn't pronounce "tree" and called it "Steve"... That's why smile emoticon
Steve had served many purposes for the family throughout the four seasons repetitively. He had witnessed and shared the family's ups and downs, in fact he was there for all the family's milestones.
Years have passed, now the children have grown up and dad is writing a letter to them with news about Steve, who is no longer the tree he once was.
Dec 30, 2015 Patti rated it it was amazing
I’m always on the lookout for fun new books to share with my little elementary school readers. I’m definitely going to use “Our Tree Named Steve” with my 1st graders – cute cute cute! Not only do I love the storyline, I love the super fun illustrations by artist David Catrow.

It’s all about a tree that becomes a “family member” as the people part of family builds a home, and life around the big beautiful tree. Steve plays a very important role in their lives. But all good things come to an end an
Feb 02, 2016 Carly rated it it was amazing
This beautiful story gave me literal goosebumps. It is written as a letter from a father to his three children who are gone away at grandmas house. The father reminds his three children of their tree named Steve. Steve has been through everything with the children, and father reminds them of all of these good times, as well as the bad times when Steve stood by them like a true friend. The reason the father is writing the letter is because there was a storm at the house while the children were aw ...more
Mar 26, 2016 Cora rated it really liked it
Good illustrations and good story for 1st-4th grade.
Jul 03, 2016 Heather rated it it was amazing
I can't say enough about this story. Originally, I picked it up because David Catrow illustrated it and I'm a big fan of his work. It is an absolutely lovely story, written as a letter from a dad to his kids. As a family, we are big nature lovers and so this book was a heartwarming read and one that all of us could enjoy. It's one of those rare stories that can hit on so many emotions all at once. If I were to be completely honest, I may have almost cried a little. I know, weird, right? Isn't th ...more
Aug 28, 2016 Tanja rated it really liked it
Beautiful in so many ways. The special relationship between a family and their tree. Touching, heartwarming... With a nice touch of humour.
Sep 27, 2016 Gail rated it it was amazing
Maybe it is because I love gardening- trees, flowers, etc., that I fell in love with this book. To me trees have a soul. Some are older than me and it just wouldn't be the same without them- so true of people in our lives. The family bought a lot and had the trees removed so they could build their home, but one tree in particular they asked the builder to spare- a very old- very unique tree. They share their life with that tree- such cute pictures and depictions of home life- from romance to the ...more
So dear to my heart! Love this book. Much rather read this than the Giving Tree, any day. Any. Day.
Amanda Sullivan
Our Tree Named Steve is a wonderful book that would be great to teach students a lesson about loyalty. In the story a family moves and needs to clear the land. However, they tend to cling to one tree and decide to keep it. The tree is there for the family through it all. I would use this book in a lesson about how friendship is an important thing in your life and having someone there for you is a need, but sometimes the friendships may end or disappear. However, that's okay!
Lindsay Monson
I loved this book. It explains this tree and its significance to the family. How it's made an impact on this family's life. An activity that correlates could be with nature and create a wonder table. The teacher grabs items like leaves and sticks and such. Before the kids read the book they make inferences on what those objects mean and how they explain what the book is going to be about.
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