Tuesday, May 6, 2014

A Picture Book a Day for a Year: Day 17

Picture Book: Our Tree Named Steve

Author: Alan Zweibel

Illustrator: David Catrow

Summary: A father writes his children a letter in which he celebrates all the gifts that have been given to them by Steve, the large, unusual tree near their home. Steve (how the a youngest child said "tree") has become an important part of their family history: playmate, shelter, place of important milestones. He explains that the tree was knocked down by a storm but has been transformed into a tree house in another tree in their yard and will continue to nurture & protect them.

Hanna’s Comments: This delightful tale has such symbolic undercurrents and is full of potential for ties with scripture and conversations about important elements of family life such as play, ritual, protection, & sacrifice. Allusions to Jesus' sacrifice are here as well as Steve as a symbol of God who is ever-present, ever-nurturing, ever-loving.

Publisher & Date of Publication: Puffin, 2005

Age and Grade Appropriateness: 5 and up, K and up

# of Pages: 32

Available in Spanish? Not at present

Formats other than Book: None at present

PBT Category: Post 2K

PBT Topics this Book Connects with: comfort, death/loss/grief, the environment/nature, family, flowers/leaves/trees, God’s nature, God’s presence, Jesus, love, presence, protecting/protection, safety, steadfastness, transformation

Scripture Connections: God’s presence with us, giving us rest (Exodus 33:14), God’s plans for our welfare & future (Jeremiah 29:11), Jesus’ sacrifice (John 3:16), I am with you always (Matthew 28:20)

Idea(s) for Application: Consider reading this book at an Arbor Day Celebration, a Faith Family Festival, a Family Reunion, or in a church Sunday school class during Lent.