The Giving Tree

( 280 )

Overview

"Once there was a tree . . . and she loved a little boy." So begins a story of unforgettable perception, beautifully written and illustrated by the gifted and versatile Shel Silverstein.

Every day the boy would come to the tree to eat her apples, swing from her branches, or slide down her trunk . . . and the tree was happy. But as the boy grew older, he began to want more from the tree, and the tree gave and gave.

Since it was first published fifty years ago, Shel...

See more details below
Hardcover
$10.89
BN.com price
(Save 35%)$16.99 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (86) from $1.99   
  • New (21) from $8.93   
  • Used (65) from $1.99   

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK Kids for iPad

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (NOOK Kids)
$11.99
BN.com price
Note: Kids' Club Eligible. See More Details.

Overview

"Once there was a tree . . . and she loved a little boy." So begins a story of unforgettable perception, beautifully written and illustrated by the gifted and versatile Shel Silverstein.

Every day the boy would come to the tree to eat her apples, swing from her branches, or slide down her trunk . . . and the tree was happy. But as the boy grew older, he began to want more from the tree, and the tree gave and gave.

Since it was first published fifty years ago, Shel Silverstein's moving parable for readers of all ages has offered an affecting interpretation of the gift of giving and a serene acceptance of another's capacity to love in return.

This 40th anniversary edition of Shel Silverstein's classic, The Giving Tree, is here and ready for a new generation of fans. The book comes packaged with a cd featuring Silverstein reading his beloved tale, along with a commemorative 40th anniversary sticker on the front.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
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.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060256654
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/7/1964
  • Pages: 64
  • Sales rank: 1,148
  • Age range: 6 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: 530L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 7.80 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Shel Silverstein

Shel Silverstein is the author-artist of many beloved books of prose and poetry. He was a cartoonist, playwright, poet, performer, recording artist, and Grammy-winning, Oscar-nominated songwriter.

Shel Silverstein is the author-artist of many beloved books of prose and poetry. He was a cartoonist, playwright, poet, performer, recording artist, and Grammy-winning, Oscar-nominated songwriter.

Biography

If there is such a thing as a "bad boy of children's literature," it would have to be Shel Silverstein. Though often compared to Dr. Seuss for his ability to blend humor and nonsense into irresistible rhymes, Silverstein also ventured into macabre territory that the good Doctor wouldn't have touched with a ten-foot Sneetch. Silverstein broached such unsavory topics as nose-picking, the consumption of children, and winds so strong they could decapitate a man right out from under his hat.

It's a testament to Silverstein's abilities as a cartoonist and storyteller that he was able to endow such subjects with just the right silliness and humor, endearing him to both children and adults. In collections such as the classic Where the Sidewalk Ends, A Light in the Attic, and Falling Up, Silverstein makes poems into page-turners -- aided in no small part by his grungy, whimsical black-and-white drawings. He also displays a tenderhearted understanding for kids' fears and peccadilloes; one poem in A Light in the Attic, for example, all but endorses nailbiting: "It's a nasty habit, but ... I have never ever scratched a single soul."

A lifelong writer and illustrator, Silverstein had been a cartoonist for an army newspaper in Korea in the 1950s, and then a contributor to magazines. Like many succesful writers for children, Silverstein never planned to author children's books. Ironically, his first attempt at the genre -- the book that established the one-time Playboy cartoonist as a school library fixture -- is something of an anomaly in his ouevre: The Giving Tree. This bittersweet story of a tree that ultimately sacrifices itself -- down to the stump -- to the boy she loves over the course of his life was initially rejected by Silverstein's editor. Of course, it has gone on to be a great, if sentimental, success. But it was Where the Sidewalk Ends, Silverstein's straightforward collection of crooked poems, that cemented his place as a must-read for the young and young at heart. Silverstein bristled at comparisons to fellow "nonsense poet" Edward Lear, preferring instead to cite his former teacher, Robert Cosbey, as an influence.

It's worth looking at some of Silverstein's less well-known picture books, such as Who Wants a Cheap Rhinoceros? and Lafcadio, the Lion Who Shot Back, as examples of how funny (and how subversive) Silverstein could be. In Lafcadio, the ultimate anti-hunting story, a lion learns to become such a good marksman that he provides "hunter rugs" for his fellow lions and ends up touring as a celebrity. Lafcadio soon gets bored with his opulent life, and what used to be thrilling no longer is: "This morning I went up and down in the elevator 1,423 times," he cries at one point. "IT'S OLD STUFF!"

In later years, Silverstein turned more attention to dramatic writing. Titles such as The Lady and the Tiger, Wild Life and The Devil and Billy Markham were produced with varying degrees of success, and some are still being staged by small theater groups. Silverstein also wrote a well-received screenplay, Things Change, with pal David Mamet in 1988.

Still, Silverstein's poetry is what remains his most popular contribution. His verse gave kids permission to be a little grown-up for a while, and (just as importantly) let adults experience the not-always-simple perspective of children.

Good To Know

Silverstein was a soldier in the U.S. Army in Japan and Korea in the '50s and drew cartoons for Stars and Stripes, the American military publication. His next cartooning gig was for Playboy.

Silverstein wrote several songs. His country-western song "A Boy Named Sue" was a hit for Johnny Cash in 1969. His song for Postcards From the Edge, "I'm Checkin' Out," was nominated for an Academy Award and a Golden Globe.

Read More Show Less
    1. Also Known As:
      Sheldon Allan Silverstein (full name)
      Shel Silverstein
    1. Date of Birth:
      September 25, 1930
    2. Place of Birth:
      Chicago, Illinois
    1. Date of Death:
      May 10, 1999
    2. Place of Death:
      Key West, Florida

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 280 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(222)

4 Star

(27)

3 Star

(6)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(21)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 289 Customer Reviews
  • 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.

    17 out of 22 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.

    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.

    10 out of 29 people found this review helpful.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 6, 2010

    Cute, thoughtful story for my 5-8 year olds

    Sweet storyline.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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

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

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

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

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

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 30, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Timeless classic

    This is a wonderful book!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 289 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)