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Customer Reviews for

The Giving Tree

Average Rating 4.5
( 280 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(222)

4 Star

(27)

3 Star

(6)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(21)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

18 out of 23 people found this review helpful.

The greatness of the tree

This book 'THE GIVING TREE' by Shel Silverstein is a great book to read to children. It is a sad story but the lesson that it teaches is really valuable. This story speaks about the unconditional love the tree had towards the boy.When the boy was little he would gather ...
This book 'THE GIVING TREE' by Shel Silverstein is a great book to read to children. It is a sad story but the lesson that it teaches is really valuable. This story speaks about the unconditional love the tree had towards the boy.When the boy was little he would gather the leaves, climb up on her trunk and swing from her branches. She would let him eat her apples and give him shade when he was tired. As he grows older he completely forgets about the tree. He remembers her only when he needs her.But the tree keeps giving him whatever the boy wanted. The man sells all the apples and even cuts her down to build his house. Even then the tree keeps giving whatever he wanted. When I read this book to my children , my daughter who is going to 3rd grade said that it was very mean on the boy's part to keep asking for more and more from the tree. My daughter hated when the boy cut the tree down to build his house. She was in tears when she read that page in the story. She told me that she will never be as mean as that boy . She was infact angry that the boy did not thank the tree even once. I think that this book helped my daughter learn the importance of give and take. I highy recomend readers to read this book to their young ones and also teachers to keep this book in their classrooms. I think it is a great book to share.

posted by Anonymous on July 9, 2006

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Most Helpful Critical Review

11 out of 30 people found this review helpful.

Why not take all of me?

I have hated this book since I was little. It seems cruel the way the little boy uses the tree for his own needs, never reciprocating, appreciating or even thanking the tree. The only time he comes to see the tree is when he needs something. This is not something tha...
I have hated this book since I was little. It seems cruel the way the little boy uses the tree for his own needs, never reciprocating, appreciating or even thanking the tree. The only time he comes to see the tree is when he needs something. This is not something that we should teach our children. That it is OK to continually take from someone and never give in return. I can also see it in a feminist viewpoint. The tree being a woman who gives all she can, including her own body, for a love that is not returned. I heard on National Public Radio from a woman who wrote a new book on how to teach your children to love reading that Shel wrote this about women and how stupid they were. He did write for Playboy, ya know.

posted by Anonymous on November 26, 2003

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2006

    The greatness of the tree

    This book 'THE GIVING TREE' by Shel Silverstein is a great book to read to children. It is a sad story but the lesson that it teaches is really valuable. This story speaks about the unconditional love the tree had towards the boy.When the boy was little he would gather the leaves, climb up on her trunk and swing from her branches. She would let him eat her apples and give him shade when he was tired. As he grows older he completely forgets about the tree. He remembers her only when he needs her.But the tree keeps giving him whatever the boy wanted. The man sells all the apples and even cuts her down to build his house. Even then the tree keeps giving whatever he wanted. When I read this book to my children , my daughter who is going to 3rd grade said that it was very mean on the boy's part to keep asking for more and more from the tree. My daughter hated when the boy cut the tree down to build his house. She was in tears when she read that page in the story. She told me that she will never be as mean as that boy . She was infact angry that the boy did not thank the tree even once. I think that this book helped my daughter learn the importance of give and take. I highy recomend readers to read this book to their young ones and also teachers to keep this book in their classrooms. I think it is a great book to share.

    18 out of 23 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2003

    Why not take all of me?

    I have hated this book since I was little. It seems cruel the way the little boy uses the tree for his own needs, never reciprocating, appreciating or even thanking the tree. The only time he comes to see the tree is when he needs something. This is not something that we should teach our children. That it is OK to continually take from someone and never give in return. I can also see it in a feminist viewpoint. The tree being a woman who gives all she can, including her own body, for a love that is not returned. I heard on National Public Radio from a woman who wrote a new book on how to teach your children to love reading that Shel wrote this about women and how stupid they were. He did write for Playboy, ya know.

    11 out of 30 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 20, 2009

    I love this book!

    The lessons are great and I first was read this book 30-some odd years ago, in 2nd grade. I've bought it numerous times because the lesson in it is fanastic and actually changes, the older I get.

    10 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 5, 2009

    GREAT BOOK!

    I give this book to all new mothers. Both of my kids enjoy it. Great story.

    7 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2001

    'Mommy send it back!'

    I ordered this books based on the extensive media praise. Read it to my 5yr old child. When asked if she wanted to hear the book again, she said 'NO, mommy send it back'. This is coming from a kid insists each new book be read over and over until its memorized. She was quite disturbed by the theme of 'take until no more'

    6 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 1, 2009

    The Giving Tree

    One of the Best books ever written. I have purchased this book for
    both of my children who are now adults and they have handed this book
    down to their children. This really teaches you about selfishness.
    Great Book

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2005

    Trees and kids deserve better!

    I believe that Shel Silverstein wrote this book with his usual cynical edge, and that most people reading this book completely miss his point: we (humans) take nature and nature's gifts totally for granted. The boy in this book never once says thank you to the tree. He takes and takes and is never satisfied. (And don't get me started on the ways this book reinforces ideas about how women are defined by--but still taken totally for granted for--their level of self-sacrifice...) This book is creepy and mean-spirited! Read it to your kids if you want them to learn how NOT to treat nature!

    5 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2000

    This book is not what it seems

    When I first heard this book read at church camp when I was 14, I said that the tree was too unreflectively giving, and the boy was too selfish. It made the adults furious, but today, 23 years later, I stand by what I said. I hate psychological jargon, but this book is a classic example of a destructive co-dependence. The tree never holds the boy accountable for any of his wasteful ways. The boy isn't grateful at the end, just bewildered! The tree is a masochist; the boy is a sociopath. Any parent who sees this book as inspiring isn't thinking straight. Pouring yourself out for some selfish little monster isn't noble, or 'caring' -it's simply a waste! In good literature about family life, BOTH generations can win.

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2013

    If I could give this book a zero I would.  It's message is distu

    If I could give this book a zero I would.  It's message is disturbing on so many levels.  The only positive I see in this book is as a catalyst for discussion about the subjugation of women, the stereotype of the Jewish mother, the selfishness and self-absorption of our culture, and the rape of our environment.  This is NOT a children's book.  It has some deep messages, but I think those who read it at face value are missing the point.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 7, 2003

    Extremely overrated.

    This book is boring for my children, and they are huge book-lovers. It is geared more for adults. It should not be a children's book. It's an adult's idea of what a children's book should be. The story contains no real substance. My children never ask me to read this book. Don't bother with this one.

    4 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2003

    Horrible

    This is the most astonishing book. It is so mean spirited the way the little creepy kid just takes and takes. This book shows a heartless attitude and I hated it. I cannot imagine why it's so popular.

    4 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 23, 2011

    BIG dose of liberal brain washing!!!

    What a horrible book! Unless you intend to teach your children that its ok to repeatedly take from others with no regard for them, then I suggest you pass on this one. Why this has high reviews escapes me!!!

    3 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2010

    Should be in everyone's home

    I hadn't read it in over 30 years and when I read it to my 5 year old it made me cry. The message is so touching and powerful. Rarely are so few words so moving. Never read it? Haven't read it in years? Pick it up now.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 6, 2010

    Cute, thoughtful story for my 5-8 year olds

    Sweet storyline.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2006

    Rather Overrated

    I have read this book more times than I care to mention. Many friends and fellow educators have told me what a wonderful book this is. I hate to say, but I don't like it at all. The boy in the story is rather selfish in my opinion the 'friendship' rather onesided. I think many of us have experienced a relationship like this from time to time. Is this a good message for kids?

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2001

    No Redeeming Social Values

    I don't like this book at all. Though there is something soothing and seductive in the language, the end result is all one-sided. In conclusion, I found the final message to be cruel and downright mean. I'm only giving it one star because I can't give it zero.

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2013

    What a horrible plot, of selfishly using up a "giving"

    What a horrible plot, of selfishly using up a "giving" tree piece by piece until it is dead. Terrible message, terrible book. 

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 15, 2010

    Everybody should own this book!

    I first was introduced to Shel Silverstein as a child...reading Where the Sidewalk Ends and The Giving Tree. I give this book as a git to all my nieces and nephews because of its powerful meaning and the dialogue that can occur between parent and child while reading.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 9, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Brings back memories

    I clearly remember reading this book when I was a child. I really would like to buy this book for my 6 year old sister. I know she will love this book as well.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 30, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Timeless classic

    This is a wonderful book!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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