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Our Tree Named Steve Paperback – February 15, 2007
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From School Library Journal
Grade 1-3–When a storm fells a favorite tree, Dad writes a letter to his children, who are visiting their grandparents, to tell them the bad news. He reminds them of the day the family surveyed the piece of land where their new home would be built. Trees had to be cleared, but this giant, dubbed "Steve" by the youngest who couldn't pronounce "tree," was spared. Through the years, Steve became the family swing, third base, laundry line, campground, and even a first love's trysting place. The pencil-and-watercolor cartoons feature Catrow's familiar round-faced children and their comical dog. They extend the spare text with many visual jokes. A cheery palette gives way to dark magenta and blue when the tree dies, a melancholy dog sprawled across its stump. Zweibel attempts to give the story a hopeful twist at the end, but, overall, it is a bittersweet and genuinely sad slice of life.–Marianne Saccardi, Norwalk Community College, CT
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Zweibel and Catrow have created a faultless piece of bibliotherapy for children working through loss. (Kirkus Reviews, starred review)
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An old tree of obvious character was discovered on the site where a family's new house was to be built.The youngest child could not say "tree"; it came out "Steve", and after enough begging by the children,the father told the builder to spare it. The story of Steve is a letter written by the father to the children who are visiting their grandmother.It recaps how Steve, without speaking, seeming to think or in any way behaving other than a tree should, was so much a part of their family, and how he will continue to do so.
This is a touching story, but the only 'sap' here is in old Steve.The quirky illustrations enhance the modernity of the story, but I believe that the book is timeless.
I love this book.