The Giving Tree 40th Anniversary Edition

( 27 )

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 ...

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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.

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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.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060586751
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 2/18/2004
  • Edition description: 40th Anniversary Book and CD
  • Edition number: 40
  • Pages: 64
  • Sales rank: 29,586
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.50 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.37 (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.

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    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
( 27 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 27 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 14, 2014

    Highly Recommended

    This is a wonderful book for any age. It was drawn to my attention by a fourth grader who asked me if I have read this book yet. I hadn't do I purchased it. I am very happy that I had. Great, Great story.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 18, 2013

    Love this book

    Have always loved this book. Great value with lots to consider!

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  • Posted February 14, 2013

    This book was a favorite when I was a kid, and to my children.

    This book was a favorite when I was a kid, and to my children. It reminds me of my grandma, who selflessly gives anything that is needed or wanted and asks for nothing in return. She also gave this special 40th anniversary edition to our family. I have read it so many times, and hope to read it many many more.

    While my grandma is my Giving Tree, I have made sure that we do not wait until the end so show her the appreciation she deserves. If more people read and understood this book...well there would be many stumps out there that are still good for something.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2013

    I was prepared to like this book, as many do. I hate it. It star

    I was prepared to like this book, as many do. I hate it. It starts out seeming fine, with the little boy asking the tree for apples. By the end the relationship between the boy now a grown man has become really sick, destructive, and selfishly one sided as the man continues to come back demanding more and more until he has killed the tree, leaving only a stump he sits on. This perpetually immature boy-man shows no empathy, and while he is not happy at the end he never shows any character but selfish taker. Yuck. I realize that I am in the minority for rating it poor but my career working with special need or troubled children and their families may make me more alert to healthy and unhealthy relationship dynamics.

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  • Posted December 27, 2012

    HIGHLY RECOMMEND

    LOVE THIS BOOK. I LOVE HOW IT TEACHES CHILDREN THAT NO MATTER HOW GIVING SOMEONE IS, WE SHOULD NEVER TAKE THEM FOR GRANTED!

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  • Posted April 15, 2012

    The "Giving Tree" I began reading it to my children a

    The "Giving Tree" I began reading it to my children at the age of 1 and 3 .
    this began their love for books and most mostly shel silverstein .... And now they are 28,& 26
    And the SAME BEAUTIFUL BOOK is now read daily to my 3 beautiful grandchildren !!!!
    (what a great way to learn unconditional love )

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2011

    Great Book, wish it was available on the nook. ( but its not!)

    HarperCollins Publishers, limited books on nook, kids love the book ! wish it was available on the nook, but its not.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2011

    Very sad.

    This book is so sad, I don't think I'll use it as a read-aloud in my class. I know it's considered a classic and the message is great -- but it is really a very sad ending and I had a hard time shaking it off.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 22, 2010

    One of The Best Shel Slverstein Books

    I was introduced to Shel Silverstein's work while a senior in High School.He was one of the authors I chose to write my term paper on.From then on,I became a fan."The Giving Tree" to me shows unconditional love,you don't find that kind of love and friendship every day.The relationship between the Tree and the boy is believable and real.This is a book I give as a Baby shower Gift or as a Graduation gift.

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  • Posted May 15, 2010

    THE GIVING TREE

    THIS BOOK HAS BEEN IN MY FAMILY FOR 38 YEARS. I BOUGHT THIS BOOK FOR MY 38 YEAR OLD BOY WHEN HE WAS BORN, MY 23 YEAR OLD BOY WHEN HE WAS BORN AND NOW MY GRANDDAUGHTER 4 MONTHS..I HAVE HAD ALOT OF JOY READING TO THEM ALL,GREATEST BOOK IN THE WORLD..LOVE EVERYTHING ABOUT THE TRUE MEANING..
    THANK YOU SOOOO MUCH MR.SILVERSTEIN..

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2010

    LOVE THIS BOOK!

    I bought this for my great-nephew's graduation from pre-school. It's one of his favorite books - he would check it out at the library, and cry when he had to return it. Love that it has a CD so that he can listen to it in the car. Would recommend for any age child (or adult). Wonderful story, wonderful book.

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  • Posted December 18, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    YOU MUST HAVE THIS ONE REGARDLESS OF AGE!!!!

    This book is now 35 years old and still timely!
    This book came in front of me TWICE within 30 days from DIFFERENT courses. I first became aware of THE GIVING TREE in a Methodist Lay Speaking course and it hit home! Then the next month it was part of my Walk To Emmaus and several of us just.... cried about it's message.
    I have been taught that TRUE LEADERS GIVE OF THEMSEVES BEFORE THINKING OF THEMSELVES and this book drives it home.
    I did get the copy that has the CD with it and glad I did :-)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2009

    Wonderful Children's Book

    This is a book that every child in our family has had read to them, then read themselves as they got older, ever since we first discovered it. We have all loved it, frequently cried over it, and passed it on to friends and family in an ever-widening circle.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2007

    A Book That Gives and Gives

    When my son was young, I must have read this book to him a hundred times. In the hustle and bustle of bringing up the kids, I hardly noticed its gentle message. But he did. He is a grown man now and as soon as my first grandchild arrives, this book will be one of my first gifts!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2005

    One of the best books written for all ages.

    A friend of mine in high school handed me this book, as she grabbed every book written by this author. Immediately I fell in love with it. As it brought tears to my eyes, the book also brought on a new era of growth for me. Thirteen years later, I still continue to reread this book and still give this item to family and friends for special occasion gifts. This book will be enjoyed by children, teens and adults alike. My highest recommendation is given for this item.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2005

    A wonderful story for yesterday today and always

    I remember sitting on my sisters best friends lap as she introduced me to this book. I have always remembered its message. Now I can begin reading it to my little girl in hopes that she enjoys it just as much as I still do. This is a great book for all ages.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2005

    Such a wonderful book -

    Such a wonderful book to pass on from generation to generation. My mom gave me 'The Giving Tree' when I was a little girl, we are on our third generation now enjoying this classic. I am purchasing another copy as a gift for my daughters 2nd grade class to enjoy.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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