So, I ordered this book because I like to plan ahead, and although its November, I was looking for books that could be used for Earth Day at my school this year. And of course, I always try it out on my children first to get an initial reaction to see if its any good.
Simply summarized, Our Tree Named Steve, by Alan Zweibel, is about a family who falls in love with a huge tree on their property. They use it for just about everything you can think of– climbing, hanging laundry, all good things, and the kids are super attached to the tree. Unfortunately (SPOILER ALERT), a weather related event ends the life of the tree as the kids know it.
Our experience: Both my kids really liked the book. Before we even started, my daughter mentioned that the drawings on the cover reminded her of Molly Lou Melon. So we had to grab that book and of course–David Catrow is the illustrator of both. My kids liked and appreciated the storyline, but they spent most of their time analyzing the illustrations, which are wonderful.
Recommendations: Now it wasn’t until later that I read reviews that mentioned this book as a good read for kids who are dealing with loss. I wasn’t thinking about that when I read it to my kids, but I definitely understand how it could be used in that manner.
I still am keeping it in the running for part of our Earth Day celebration, and generally speaking I think it is a good read aloud for K-3.