The Giving Tree

The Giving Tree
Genre(s)
Age Range
6+
Release Date
December 31, 1969
ISBN
9780060256654
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'Once there was a tree...and she loved a little boy.' So begins a story of unforgettable perception, beautifully written and illustrated by the gifted and versatile Shel Silverstein. Every day the boy would come to the tree to eat her apples, swing from her branches, or slide down her trunk...and the tree was happy. But as the boy grew older he began to want more from the tree, and the tree gave and gave and gave. This is a tender story, touched with sadness, aglow with consolation. Shel Silverstein has created a moving parable for readers of all ages that offers an affecting interpretation of the gift of giving and a serene acceptance of another's capacity to love in return.

Editor review

1 review
Giving Tree or Taking Boy?
Overall rating
 
3.3
Writing Style
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
4.0
Learning Value
 
2.0
Never will you come across a tree more deserving of a hug.

As a child, this book stuck in my memory like few others. The tree represented, at least to my young mind, a sort of ideal nurturing parental figure--ever giving, never asking anything in return. I somewhat resented the child, not while he was still a child but as he grew up and just kept on taking. He never thought to water or prune or fertilize his generous friend...

Okay, maybe I read too much into it even as a kid. The fact was, I felt so bad for the tree and kind of wanted to smack around the grown-up version of the boy. Any book that can draw out such feelings is a literary accomplishment in its own right.

As an adult I admit I continue to read too much into this book. Through the jaded lens of cynicism, this is the tragic story of a lifelong narcissist and his vegetative enabler. The lesson? If you let someone use you up, they will. And then they'll use your corpse as furniture.

...I should probably see about getting some therapy. >.<
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User reviews

2 reviews
Overall rating
 
4.5
Writing Style
 
4.5(2)
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A(0)
Learning Value
 
N/A(0)
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Beautiful Story
Overall rating
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
0.0
Learning Value
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by paisley

I picked this book up in a bookstore and read it, and i almost cried right there in the middle of the store. Stories like this one tug at my heartstrings because i have a soft spot for the elderly. The boy who turns into an old man loving,then leaving, then loving the tree again, is the best character i have ever seen portrayed through just a few pages. Even if youre not a child, or do not have children, you should read this book because you will enjoy it just as much, if not more, than any child would.
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Sharing the Most of You without Regret
Overall rating
 
4.0
Writing Style
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
0.0
Learning Value
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by GRgenius

A wonderful story about giving all that you have from the heart...Shel Silverstein's "The Giving Tree" tells the tale of the relationship between a boy and a tree.  Not just any tree, mind you....this was HIS tree.  As he grew, so did it and thus their connection was forged into something more akin to friendship.  Share in this timeless tale with a message for the ages.

If I had to provide a rating, I'd give it 4 out of 5 stars only for the fact that the book has a rather melancholy ending. This story teaches children not to take things for granted as well as aids in showing them all the things that one living thing can provide. Recommended for one and all. Happy reading...
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