The Giving Tree

October 9, 2019 - Comment

The Giving Tree, a story of unforgettable perception, beautifully written and illustrated by the gifted and versatile Shel Silverstein, has been a classic favorite for generations. Since it was first published fifty years ago, Shel Silverstein’s poignant picture book for readers of all ages has offered a touching interpretation of the gift of giving and

The Giving Tree, a story of unforgettable perception, beautifully written and illustrated by the gifted and versatile Shel Silverstein, has been a classic favorite for generations.

Since it was first published fifty years ago, Shel Silverstein’s poignant picture book for readers of all ages has offered a touching interpretation of the gift of giving and a serene acceptance of another’s capacity to love in return.

Shel Silverstein’s incomparable career as a bestselling children’s book author and illustrator began with Lafcadio, the Lion Who Shot Back. He is also the creator of picture books including A Giraffe and a Half, Who Wants a Cheap Rhinoceros?, The Missing Piece, The Missing Piece Meets the Big O, and the perennial favorite The Giving Tree, and of classic poetry collections such as Where the Sidewalk Ends, A Light in the Attic, Falling Up, Every Thing On It, Don’t Bump the Glump!, and Runny Babbit.

And don’t miss Runny Babbit Returns, the new book from Shel Silverstein!

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

Product Features

  • The Giving Tree – Children’s Book, Hardcover

Comments

Anonymous says:

Dear Mr. Silverstein, My wife and I were joined in a nearly two year battle with a disease that wanted to take her from me. As the season of giving neared, she asked me to purchase a gift for me that would be from her. She was too weak to go out any longer. I was in a Book Sellers thinking I would purchase a gift card for her to give to me. I passed a display and saw a flash of red and green. They were my wife’s favorite colors. I looked closer and saw the little boy, the apple, and the giving tree. Without even…

Anonymous says:

“I ALWAYS GIFT THIS BOOK” Whenever I am invited to a baby shower, this is always a gift from my husband & myself. I have even chose this book as a house warming gift.Like movies, books of all kinds are very personal. What I mean is everyones perception of what they are viewing , in this case reading are very different. All that I can honestly say about this book, what some people say is “controversial” is it ;touches on feelingsteaches about selfishnessteaches about…

Anonymous says:

Beautiful edition I have always loved this story. With the adult coloring craze still going on and storybook coloring books becoming a big deal I decided to pick up a copy of The Giving Tree that I would color to give to my kids and future grandkids. This edition is perfect for that purpose.

Comments are disabled for this post.

The owner of this website is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon properties including, but not limited to, amazon.com, endless.com, myhabit.com, smallparts.com, or amazonwireless.com.