Our Tree Named Steve, by Alan Zweibel, illustrated by David Catrow
The family bought some land to build a house. When they all went to see the land, the children found a large tree that held their attention. The youngest child, who couldn’t say ‘tree,’ called the tree ‘Steve.’ The parents asked the builders not to cut Steve down during the house construction.
Steve was there from the start, and became a part of the family’s life, holding swings and jump ropes, standing as third base, or a hiding place.
“Yes, right there in the center of our yard, this weird-looking tree grew to become the center of our outdoor life. Through all our barbecues, campouts, dance parties…Steve adjusted to our every need.”
Steve stood through snowstorms, an overflowing sewer, a tree doctor visit, and many other events.
“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 father concludes the letter explaining that a storm came through their area, and that they couldn’t save Steve from the storm. The huge tree snapped and fell over.
“But even in his final moments, when he could have fallen on our house, Sari’s swings, Kirby’s house, or Mom’s garden, Steve performed his last trick and protected all of us to the very end, and friends like this are hard to find.”
The book ends with a picture of a new tree house in another tree, perhaps made of Steve’s wood, and the family dog standing on a huge stump.
The illustrations are lively, and bring the story to life. This is a fun picture book to share with your family.