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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
9,075462330 (4.32)89
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
    Mr. Fooster Traveling on a Whim by Tom Corwin (bertilak)
  4. 00
    Our Tree Named Steve by Alan Zweibel (snozzberry)
    snozzberry: Another great picture book about an important tree.
  5. 12
    The Iliad and the Odyssey by Homer (teresasobral)
  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!!
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» See also 89 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 459 (next | show all)
Shel Silverstein is one of my favourite authors. The Giving Tree is a beautiful story about unconditional love. I can't wait to read it to my son. ( )
  momma182 | Jun 23, 2015 |
A classic tear-jerker with a positive ending. Themes of friendship, sharing, lifelong bond, living for another; mild environmental undertones. ( )
  ashbrau | Jun 5, 2015 |
The Giving Tree is a beautiful book about a tree who loves a little boy. Silverstein’s simple line drawings and straight forward, calming words add to the overarching tone of the whole book. In the beginning, the love the two share is enough to make them both happy. As the boy grows older, his needs change and the tree gives him everything in order to help him achieve happiness. I fell in love with this book the first time it was read to me, and my feelings have never changed. This book has some unclear themes that are up for interpretation. I feel that the theme of unconditional love is very abstract and hard for children to understand but this book does it with ease and elegance. For me, the key point is that in the end, the love the tree had for the boy still existed by his return- older, wiser, and more appreciative. Throughout the book, the narrator explains the feelings of abandonment and sacrifice the tree exhibits every time the boy comes to get something from the tree. The narrator says “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." ( )
  cscapp1 | May 13, 2015 |
This classic story can be used to talk about a variety of topics, such as generosity, human vs. natural resources, and friendship.
  zkstonem | May 12, 2015 |
This book is one of my absolute favorites, and has been since I first read it when I was only 7 years old. The book tells about the life of a boy and a tree that he grows up with, and highlights specific moments in the boy's life that he needed favors from the tree. The author repeats throughout the story "and the tree loved the boy, even more than she loved herself," relating to the main idea of generosity. In the story, the boy first just plays with the tree, swinging from it's branches, making crowns out of its leaves, and napping under the shade that it provides. Because the tree gives off a feminine persona throughout, it serves almost as a caretaker or mother for the boy in the beginning of the story. Once the boy gets older however, he needs money, so the tree lets the boy pick her apples and sell them. The boy then comes to the tree years later, saying that he needs to build his family a house. The tree replies, "here boy, cut down my branches and build a house." Throughout the story, the boy keeps taking and taking from the tree and she always gives everything that she can until all thats left is a stump. Once the man is old and alone, he asks the tree is he can sit on her stump and rest, and that is how the book ends. Many people feel as though this is an anti-feministic book, that shows a man taking advantage of a woman for their whole lives, and never giving much back in return. I however, feel that this is a beautiful story about love, generosity, and full devotion to another person. ( )
  tmalon4 | May 4, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 459 (next | show all)
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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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