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Our Tree Named Steve
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Our Tree Named Steve

4.4 of 5 stars 4.40  ·  rating details  ·  518 ratings  ·  123 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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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
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.
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
Becky B
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)
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.
Ruenn Shy
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.
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
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.
Jordan Hernandez
The first impression from this book was a relation to how nice it is in life to have something so stable in your lifetime. This would be an excellent book for children ages 6-9. For lesson purposes, this book could be used to introduce how to start and write a letter, which is the format of the text in this book. Children could also be asked about stable things in their life that they rely on. Also this book could be used to explain personification to young children as the tree is routinely give ...more
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
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.
Kaylee Warzecha
I picked this book for my read aloud and I loved it because of the kids relationship to this huge tree that lived in their yard. Steve played a huge role in the children's lives growing up and it almost reminds me of the giving tree. One day there is a storm and Steve gets knocked over. So in order to keep Steve in their lives the parents turn the wood from Steve into a tree house. Such a beautiful, fun story with great illustrations.
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
What a great story - definitely more bittersweet than I expected. I definitely got a little teary at the end. Great illustrations, too! I wouldn't read it to a really young child, but someone who is a little older. When I was little I didn't like reading books that ended in a sad way, so it's good to know what your kids like.
If a person were to ever want to read a wonderful story about the life cycle of trees in a beautifully written, well illustrated book, they would be in luck if they happened to be holding "Our Tree Named Steve". This is a must read for people of all ages, it was an instant favorite for my whole family!
Zoe Basil
I loved this book. Steve the tree becomes like a grandparent to a family who save it from being chopped down when they build a house closeby. The story is in the form of a letter, from the children's dad which explains Steve's amazing life and why sadly the Steve is no longer with them. A touching, thought-provoking story and a useful tool for teaching young children the cycles of life.
Nov 18, 2013 Dolly rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  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
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
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.
Beautiful story of love and loss and what makes a house a home. Wishing everyone could have a Steve in their yard/life.
A letter from a father to his children tells of his family's love for their tree who turns out to be a great friend to have.
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
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