I need to put two disclaimers at the beginning of this. First; I love Steve Irwin. I mean, still watching old episodes of Crocodile Hunter on Youtube, know his crocodiles by name, can recite facts about him for hours kind of love. Second; I don’t usually read biographies or autobiographies.
That being said, Steve and Me by Terri Irwin is a good read. The book is very much so about Steve and Terri and their relationship, but the first couple of chapters are about Terri and how she got into wildlife and saving animals, which is really interesting to hear. I often felt like she was (I’m sure, unintentionally) made into a secondary character in the Crocodile Hunter series, and I know that many people believe she wasn’t as knowledgeable or experienced with wildlife, but reading about her life before Steve, it’s clear that she was just as informed and passionate as he was.
The Irwin family has recently gotten another push into the spotlight with Bindi Irwin, Steve’s daughter, winning Dancing With The Stars Season 21, and Robert Irwin, Steve’s son, appearing on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. Steve and Me was released in 2007, just a year after Steve passed, but with the Irwin’s family’s recent attention, I thought it was worth reviewing now. I read the book for the first time in 2014 and just read it again recently.
Anyone who watched even one episode of Crocodile Hunter knows who Steve Irwin is. He’s passionate, well informed, charismatic, a thrill seeker, and in love with every single animal on the planet. His eye lit up every time he saw an animal, whether it was a tiger shark, an elephant, an orangutan, or a crocodile.
The book gives a bit more insight into their personal lives, from having their first child and introducing her to their animals, to Steve breaking down into tears at a crocodile farm, to Steve’s mother dying. Terri writes passionately about Steve and their love for each other and their animals. There were a few times I had to put the book down and walk away, because reading about her loss, especially with two young children, is very depressing. But she writes beautifully, and overall, the book has a wonderful message. Terri talks about not only continuing Steve’s message of saving wildlife, but of what she learned from losing him– looking for the light in even the darkest times, and carrying on because you have to.
The book is funny, sweet, and a true love story. Terri is able to talk about her love for Steve in a way that is truly inspiring. If you had or have any interest in Steve Irwin or his family, or even just the message of conservation itself, I cannot recommend this book enough.