The Giving Tree
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The Giving Tree

4.5 300
by Shel Silverstein
     
 

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"Once there was a tree . . . and she loved a little boy."

The Giving Tree is fifty! Celebrate with this special edition that features a stunning metallic green jacket and a gold anniversary sticker. The Giving Tree, a story of unforgettable perception, beautifully written and illustrated by the gifted and versatile Shel Silverstein, has

Overview

"Once there was a tree . . . and she loved a little boy."

The Giving Tree is fifty! Celebrate with this special edition that features a stunning metallic green jacket and a gold anniversary sticker. 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.

Supports the Common Core State Standards.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble Staff
Shel Silverstein takes a poignant and gentle look at the art of giving and the concept of unconditional love in his deeply profound children's book The Giving Tree. The story tells of the relationship between a young boy and a tree. Giving the boy what he wants is what makes the tree happy, a function it serves throughout the boy's life. First the tree is a place for the boy to play and munch on apples, later its branches serve as a source of lumber to build a house, and later still, its trunk provides the wood for a boat. By the time the boy has become an old man, he has used so much of what the tree has to give that all that remains is a stump. Yet all the old man needs at this point is a place to sit and rest, a function the stump nicely -- and happily -- serves.

Silverstein's drawings are deceptively simple -- black-and-white line sketches that leave plenty of white space on the page -- yet each illustration demonstrates a subtlety of emotion and change that is as captivating as it is basic. The gradual loss of the tree's various parts makes for a strong visual message. By the time the tree reaches the stump stage, the stark drawing is a perfect companion for the accompanying words: "And the tree was happy...but not really." The Giving Tree can be read over and over again, for a child's understanding of its message will likely change as the child grows. Although this isn't a colorful, fun-filled, happy-themed book, its message is a profound one that will likely inform and impress children for generations to come.

--Beth Amos

Publishers Weekly
The Giving Tree, Shel Silverstein's classic parable of selfless love and devotion originally published in 1964, is now available in a larger-size edition. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780060256654
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
10/07/1964
Pages:
64
Sales rank:
494
Product dimensions:
7.80(w) x 10.10(h) x 0.60(d)
Lexile:
530L (what's this?)
Age Range:
6 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

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, as well as classic poetry collections such as Where the Sidewalk Ends, A Light in the Attic, Every Thing On It, Don't Bump the Glump!, and Runny Babbit.

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, as well as classic poetry collections such as Where the Sidewalk Ends, A Light in the Attic, Every Thing On It, Don't Bump the Glump!, and Runny Babbit.

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
September 25, 1930
Date of Death:
May 10, 1999
Place of Birth:
Chicago, Illinois
Place of Death:
Key West, Florida
Education:
Chicago School of Fine Arts; University of Illinois (no degree)
Website:
http://www.shelsilverstein.com

Customer Reviews

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Giving Tree 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 300 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
mbshus More than 1 year ago
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.
Raye011 More than 1 year ago
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
TGordon More than 1 year ago
I give this book to all new mothers. Both of my kids enjoy it. Great story.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
BorgesLovecraft More than 1 year ago
To all the 1/2 star givers and haters of the this book, I say the following: This book is meant to show that some people will take through their nature till there is nothing left to take and some will give (again through their nature) till there is nothing left to give. I too am an educator and I feel this book gives a valid depiction of both sides and it is up to you (the educator or parent) to use the book as a teaching tool and be impartial. I see giving this book 1 or 2 stars because you hated the boy's actions or the tree's attitude as petty as someone giving the quadratic equation or an anti-derivative 1 or 2 stars because you &quot;didn't like doing them or didn't get it&quot; sad.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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'
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one of my favorite books even today. I still cry every time I read it. It show the power of giving and teaches people the importance of being kind.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book, which I first read to my daughter brought me, a 41 year old man to tears.  I was so moved by it and so sad for the tree.  It seems this is the most divisive children's book ever written.  Some believe it demonstrates the act of selfless love.  I saw it more as a one sided relationship where the tree gives and the boy takes, until there is nothing left to give.  Very sad.  I don't believe as others have written that the book is designed to teach children to act this way, but rather to evoke emotion and contemplation of one's actions so they learn that a relationship is about giving and taking and mutual respect.  I think this larger theme is lost on some people.  I highly recommend this book as I still am mulling it over in my head.  It is rare that an artist or author is able to create a true masterpiece.  Silverstein clearly was a gifted author who was able to convey a such a deep meaning from such a simple story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anyone who has written a message about how this book promotes selfishness has COMPLETELY missed the point. The people talking about women misusing their bodies must be projecting..  The point comes at the end when the old man has nothing left but a stump.. It warns a child that you have to also give back, you can't just take and take.  The old man isn't winning at the end.. he has nothing but an old stump left.
KatrinaO More than 1 year ago
&quot;Once there was a tree.. and she loved a little boy&quot; Heartbreaking, moving and truly inspiring, The Giving Tree implies the value of true and unconditional love through simple narration fit for all ages. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Teaches how to be an enabler, how to stay in an abusive relationship, how to completely give up on yourself for the benefit of someone else. Unconditional love is great, but we need to be able to know when someone is just taking advantage of us. All people are valuable, and you should never let someone abuse you the way that boy treats tree.
swardSW More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed the book The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. I read this book every night when I was a little kid. Looking back on it, I have realized it taught me a lot of lessions that I still think about to this day. In The Giving Tree the tree would always give the boy everything he possibly could. He would give the boy his apples, and his branches, and whatever else would assist him in anyway. The boy did not realize how much the tree was doing for him and took the tree for granted. I believe that everyone should read this book because there are mulitple messages that can be taken away from it. Maybe after reading it you too will realize there are things you are taking forgranted just like the boy in the book.
DrJenski More than 1 year ago
I loved this book as a child, and I love it still. There's no better story of generosity and sacrifice.
Cougar_H More than 1 year ago
the authors purpose for writing this book was to inform the readers that trees will always be there with all of the bad things that are happening like with how the way trees are being cut down all the time and being wasted for stupid things,things we dont even need all the time and this book also says that trees can provide the things we need in life like food/fruit even though the tree doesnt have that many apples the tree still gives the little boy apples then the little boy needed money so the tree gives the liitle boy all of his apples to sell and then the not so little boy need wood to build a house so the tree gives the not so little boy his branches so that he can build a house for his familey then a few years later the not little boy but pretty old man comes back and needs a boat and wood so the tree told the oldish man that he could cut down his trunk and take it bild wood so the oldish man cut down the trees trunk so that all that was left of the tree was a stub in the ground then after many many years thre very old man came back to the tree stub and just sat there and said thabk you for all of the things you have done for me and just sits there for hours so i think that its important to remember the things that trees can give us they give so many things that i think its very important to thatnk them once in a while or all the time.
NikkiBo929 More than 1 year ago
The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein has always been one of my favorite children's books. It is a beautifully written and illustrated picture book about the relationship between a boy and a tree. In the story, the tree and the boy love each other very much. When the boy is a child, the two are very dependent on each other for love and support. They spent much of their days together enjoying each other's company. In the first few pages of the book, the simple illustrations depict a relationship in which the tree and the boy are equally benefited. The Giving Tree has been the center of much controversy due to its questionable theme, but I would still recommend this book for older elementary school students as a read aloud and a topic for discussion. As the boy in the story ages, the relationship between him and the tree becomes more and more one-sided. The tree wants nothing more than to please the boy. With every one of the boy's needs, the tree sacrifices more of herself. She gives him her apples so he can earn money; she gives him her branches so he can build a home; she gives him her trunk so he can build a boat. The text states that the tree is happy to oblige the boy, but the illustrations speak a different story. The tree is alone and yearns for the companionship of the boy. The Giving Tree can be described as a book about unconditional love. I have always compared the characters and the theme of the book to the relationship of a mother and her child. Even before having children of my own, I felt the warmth and protectiveness the tree had felt for the boy. Not everyone interprets the book in this way, however. The book is definitely written to give the reader a freedom of interpretation. For this reason, I recommend the book for older students. The book can be an excellent discussion starter for students to debate whether or not the boy and the tree were involved in a mutually healthy relationship. Family dynamics can be analyzed as the students decide whether the tree was too self-sacrificing and whether or not the boy truly appreciated her. The Giving Tree is one of Shel Silverstein's most well-known books, because of the beautiful, yet simple, illustrations, the controversy surrounding the book, and the messages the book conveys.
Wormie1138 More than 1 year ago
Oh the joys of giving! I gave this to my niece for her birthday one year, and I plan on getting it for my son when he's old enough to read. It's almost like a mother/son relationship. Any parent would understand giving all of themselves for their child, and being happy to do it. It is the greatest friendship ever portrayed. It's such a heartwarming story and it makes you appreciate all the things your parents or guardians ever gave up for you. It's a simple story with simple words for younger children to enjoy. And I would definitely recommend this story to anyone.
tchrreader More than 1 year ago
What a great story. I grew up reading this book and read it to my children as well. I also take it to work and read it to the children at school. If you have not read, "The Giving Tree", you are missing out! This is the story of a boy and a tree and the unforgettable friendship of the way the boy grows into a man and his needs change but the tree is a constant friend who is always prepared to give for the boy. It is a touching, sad, realistic story for the young and old alike. You must read this one!
Gabriela70 More than 1 year ago
The Giving Tree is a heart-warming story of a relationship between a boy and a tree. The tree does her best to make the boy happy throughout all the stages of the boy's life. She gives him apples when he wants money. She gives him her limbs when he wants a house. She gives him her body when he wants a boat. And, finally she gives him her stump to rest upon when the boy is old. This book was published in 1964. So, you have to take it with its historical context. A friend of mine and I argue about this book all the time. She thinks its misogynistic. But, I always point to her that the book says, "And the tree was happy." No matter what she gave up for the boy, she loved him. It's a mother thing. Even if you aren't a mother, you can understand the relationship. It's a book of few words, but it has a lasting impact. I've loved it for 35 years.
jonathan_schlackman More than 1 year ago
A kid's book that speaks more to parents about what it means to be a parent. Extraordinary.
SewingMama More than 1 year ago
I grew up reading this book and now I read it to my little girls. Good morals encorage kids to value people and nature around them.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
We all tend to get caught up in the moment, want the latest gadgets, use technology as main communication tools but this book is a reminder that material things don't matter. I'm really glad this book exist to remind us that the love of loved ones is what matter most.