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The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
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The Giving Tree (original 1964; edition 1964)

by Shel Silverstein, Shel Silverstein (Illustrator)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
8,010None401 (4.32)82
Member:Bwestpha
Title:The Giving Tree
Authors:Shel Silverstein
Other authors:Shel Silverstein (Illustrator)
Info:HarperCollins (1964), Edition: Library Binding, Library Binding, 64 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:Picture Book, Fiction, Giving, Relationship, Human, Nature, Tree

Work details

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein (1964)

apples (38) boy (53) children (214) children's (365) children's book (61) children's books (62) children's fiction (44) children's literature (174) classic (100) classics (42) fantasy (62) fiction (395) friendship (321) generosity (146) giving (292) growing up (151) hardcover (38) illustrated (52) juvenile (40) kids (55) love (255) nature (87) picture (35) picture book (320) poetry (323) read (103) sharing (103) Shel Silverstein (69) tree (147) trees (213)
  1. 70
    The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (the_awesome_opossum)
    the_awesome_opossum: Two children's books that both emotionally "grow up" as the reader does
  2. 21
    The Lorax by Dr. Seuss (snozzberry)
    snozzberry: Another great book about the importance of trees.
  3. 00
    Our Tree Named Steve by Alan Zweibel (snozzberry)
    snozzberry: Another great picture book about an important tree.
  4. 00
    Mr. Fooster Traveling on a Whim by Tom Corwin (bertilak)
  5. 01
    The Rainbow Stick Boy by Michael Santolini (Anonymous user)
  6. 01
    Owen by Kevin Henkes (lbush005)
    lbush005: Did a children's story project in college class, a class mate did her project on this story. Great morals!!
  7. 12
    The Iliad and the Odyssey by Homer (teresasobral)
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» See also 82 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 332 (next | show all)
In my opinion, "The Giving Tree" is a great book. I remember reading this book as a child. It was always one of my favorites. After reading it again, I picked up different themes in the story. When I was younger, I always thought the big idea was how much the tree loved the boy. But now, I feel like the big idea is to not take advantage of others. I think the book pushes young readers to think about growing up, but children can take away their own views from reading. Also, the language is patterned and descriptive. For example, after the tree gives everything away it always says, “And the tree was happy.” And “Come, Boy, come and climb up my trunk and swing from my branches.” Overall, I like the plot of the story because it is engaging for children. The big idea of this story is love and friendship. ( )
  esiera1 | Apr 10, 2014 |
In my opinion, this is a great book for many reasons. The language uses easy to recognize patterns, such as the repetition of “And the tree was happy.” The text is very simple and clear for young readers to understand. The writing is engaging because certain sentences are broken up into multiple pages, which make the reader interested to continue. Sentences that are broken up into smaller parts also enhance comprehension for young readers. The pace of the story is very slow in the beginning due to the short sentence segments. The pace increases towards the end of the book because multiple sentences and dialogue begin to appear. The pace then slows back down on the last two pages. I enjoy this transition of pace because it creates variation within the book. The characters are not very well developed, but the reader can infer so many things about the boy’s and the tree’s personalities. The reader can conclude that the tree is very giving and generous and always desires satisfaction from the boy. The boy tends to be greedy and selfish and does not always appreciate his tree. At the end of the story, the boy learns to appreciate his tree by sitting on her stump to rest. I like that you have to infer personality traits about the character rather than the book telling you these traits. I believe the plot is organized and paced well. The story takes place over the course of a boy’s lifespan. It covers different points in the boy’s life, such as childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and old age. The reader sees how the boy’s personality changes over the course of his lifetime. There is a conflict between the tree’s need to satisfy the boy’s requests, yet running out of resources to offer him. There is also a conflict between the tree’s longing for the boy’s attention and the boy wanting to leave the forest. These conflicts are resolved at the end when the book states, “Well, an old stump is good for sitting and resting. Come, Boy, sit down. Sit down and rest. And the boy did. And the tree was happy.” I believe the illustrations are simple yet effective. They set an appropriate mood and fit the written text. I like the contrast between the brightly green cover and the black and white illustrations on the inside. This book pushes readers to think about greediness, appreciation, and development of age. I like that you can see the progression of the boy’s life and all the personality changes he goes through. As a child, he is playful, carefree, and appreciative of the tree. As he grows into an adult, he becomes greedy for money and desires to move away. Finally as an old man, he learns to appreciate his tree again by simply resting on her stump. The big idea is you should learn to appreciate your friends who are willing to sacrifice everything in order to make you happy. Selfishness will only leave you feeling lonely. Friendship will make you feel happy and satisfied with life. ( )
  jgiann2 | Apr 7, 2014 |
OF COURSE this classic story receives 5 out of 5 stars! This story is very special to me and I think it's probably one of my most favorite children's books of all time. This is a modern fantasy picture book for children from Kindergarten through the 3rd grade. The story itself is very friendly to children, with the simple wording on each page and the linear illustrations that draw the reader right in. Though the book seems simple at first, the in between the lines meanings are endless. This story has incredible symbolism that younger readers may not catch on to right away, but will certainly appreciate when they are old enough to understand. The central message of the story is unconditional love and endless selflessness, an important lesson is everyone's life they should not miss! ( )
  BeckieZimmerman | Mar 30, 2014 |
Shel Silverstein is one of my favorite authors of all time and this is one of my most favorite books. This book is about a little boy who keeps using a tree for it's resources. To young children, this book is simply a nice story to read before bedtime. However, the deeper meaning to adults is one that should be cherished forever. The main idea of this story shows the reader how when you love someone unconditionally, you give and give and expect nothing in return. I absolutely love the opening line "Once there was a tree...and she loved a little boy." ( )
  jjones58 | Mar 30, 2014 |
I really liked this book. The illustrations are very simple but unique. I think that even though this is such a short book, I fell like I know what kind of people the characters are. The boy can be perceived as selfish. For example, “The boy stayed away for a long time… and the tree was sad.” When the boy finally did come back to visit, it was only to ask for more, “I want a wife and I want children, and so I need a house. Can you give me a house?” The tree on the other hand can be perceived as selfless, because even though the boy only came back when he needed something she gave him what he wanted, “I have no house,” said the tree. “The forest is my house, but you may cut off my branches and build a house. Then you will be happy.” I think there are two central messages of this book. The first message that I seen was that when you love someone, you are willing to give him or her everything you have, even if it means you will be left with nothing. The tree loved the boy and gave him whatever would make him happy. The second message is that you should not give someone more than they are willing to give you. The boy kept taking from the tree, and never had anything to offer her, “And so the boy cut down her trunk, and made a boat and sailed away. And the tree was happy…but not really.” ( )
  kjacks26 | Mar 30, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 332 (next | show all)
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Once there was a tree...
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Book description
The Giving Tree is a story about a tree who is willing to give everything for this one boy. As the boy grows older into a teenager, adult, and an old man, the tree gives him some part of it. The story is showing the importance of generosity and how we should be generous so that we can make others happy. Eventhough the tree is only left with the base of its trunk in the end, both the tree and the old man get what they both want--tree wants to have more take with the old man, and the old man wants a place to relax and sit.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0060256656, Hardcover)

To say that this particular apple tree is a "giving tree" is an understatement. In Shel Silverstein's popular tale of few words and simple line drawings, a tree starts out as a leafy playground, shade provider, and apple bearer for a rambunctious little boy. Making the boy happy makes the tree happy, but with time it becomes more challenging for the generous tree to meet his needs. When he asks for money, she suggests that he sell her apples. When he asks for a house, she offers her branches for lumber. When the boy is old, too old and sad to play in the tree, he asks the tree for a boat. She suggests that he cut her down to a stump so he can craft a boat out of her trunk. He unthinkingly does it. At this point in the story, the double-page spread shows a pathetic solitary stump, poignantly cut down to the heart the boy once carved into the tree as a child that said "M.E. + T." "And then the tree was happy... but not really." When there's nothing left of her, the boy returns again as an old man, needing a quiet place to sit and rest. The stump offers up her services, and he sits on it. "And the tree was happy." While the message of this book is unclear (Take and take and take? Give and give and give? Complete self-sacrifice is good? Complete self-sacrifice is infinitely sad?), Silverstein has perhaps deliberately left the book open to interpretation. (All ages) --Karin Snelson

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:52:22 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

A young boy grows to manhood and old age experiencing the love and generosity of a tree which gives to him without thought of return.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 3 descriptions

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