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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
8,391362369 (4.31)86
Member:KatieKrivo
Title:The Giving Tree
Authors:Shel Silverstein
Other authors:Shel Silverstein (Illustrator)
Info:Harper & Row (1964), Edition: later printing, Hardcover, 64 pages
Collections:Wishlist
Rating:*****
Tags:growing up, giving

Work details

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein (1964)

  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 86 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 358 (next | show all)
This book is a very good book of poetry. It is a good book to model the way you could turn poetry into a book form, and also to show the relationship between a man as he grows into adulthood and nature. ( )
  emilystrong | Sep 11, 2014 |
This book is about an apple tree and a boy who talk with each other; the tree calls the human as "Boy" his entire life. In his childhood, the boy enjoys playing with the tree, climbing her trunk, swinging from her branches, and eating her apples. However, as time passes he starts to ask a lot from the tree. The boy wants money; the tree suggests that he pick and sell her apples, which he does. After reaching adulthood, the boy wants a house; the tree suggests he cut her branches to build a house. After reaching middle age, the boy wants a boat; the tree suggests he cut her trunk to make a boat, which he does, leaving only a stump. In the final pages, the boy (now a shriveled old man) wants only "a quiet place to sit and rest," which the stump provides. The story ends with the sentence "And the tree was happy."

I'd like to use this book to describe friendship and how not to abuse it. It's a beautiful plot and I'd hope children could relate.
  hatease | Sep 9, 2014 |
SUMMARY
The Giving Tree is about the friendship between a tree and a boy. When they boy is young, he eats apples. swings from the branches, and plays hide and seek. However, as the boy grows older, he begins to ask more and more of the tree. The tree continues to give the boy whatever he needs so that he is happy.

REVIEW
The main theme of this book is generosity. The tree gives the boy her apples to sell for money, her branches to build a house, and her trunk to build a boat. The tree gives so much to make the boy happy. However, I think the generosity is too one-sided. The tree gives so much to the boy, but he never gives anything back in return. The tree reduces herself to a stump in order to help the boy, but the boy seems to only come back when he needs something else. I do love the simple illustrations that accompany the story. ( )
  tstato1 | Sep 2, 2014 |
At first I thought the boy was a jerk for just taking all the time until the tree became a stump. But I can see how this book is a wonderful example of giving and selflessness. A good activity to do with students after reading this book is to have them write about things they would give to the tree instead.
  hugo.johnson | Aug 13, 2014 |
I hate The Giving Tree. We should not have to give until we are stumps. Although, of course, we do. My kids always loved it and it depressed me to read it to them. ( )
  smasler | Aug 6, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 358 (next | show all)
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Once there was a tree...
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This is the main work, it is NOT the latin equivalent which falls under the dead language exception and should NOT be combined with this work. Take it to the Combiners! group before continuing.
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Wikipedia in English (2)

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.
Haiku summary

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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