- Age Range: 1 - 8 years
- Grade Level: 2 - 3
- Lexile Measure: 530L (What's this?)
- Hardcover: 57 pages
- Publisher: Harper & Row; 1st edition (1964)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0060256656
- ISBN-13: 978-0060256654
- Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.4 x 10 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (2,817 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #205 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Giving Tree Hardcover – February 18, 2014
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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
“If you’re looking for a children’s book that teaches generosity or unselfishness, most people will point you right to The Giving Tree, Shel Silverstein’s lovely story of a tree that will do anything for the boy it loves—and for good reason. This classic is always a good place to start.” (Brightly.com)
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Top Customer Reviews
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 feelings
teaches about selfishness
teaches about selflessness
teaches about caring
teaches about giving
this book really tugs at all the emotions everyone goes through one time or another. Or even all at once.
It has turned into a discussion book for all my grandkids. Through your own eyes, minds & hearts is how each person feels & experiences when they read this book, or has it read to them.
The book is a hardback & comes with a cover resembling the cover of the book. There are only 30 pages to these book. The illustrations are clean & simple black drawings on crisp white pages. These pages aren't numbered, just clean illustrations.
I hope this review helped.
I keep my copy in our livingroom, it's there always.
📖THANKS FOR READING, BYE📚
As for the content of the book, I was stunned to learn that "The Giving Tree" is a book that apparently is really hit or miss on Amazon. I had no idea as many people loved it as hated it. I personally love the story, even if it is a sad one. As most everyone knows, the whole premise of the story is a tree who loves the little boy unconditionally, and a boy who never returns the love, but continually takes until there is nothing left to take. We can choose to view this metaphor in a bunch of ways. The tree could be the parent, or the tree could be Earth and the child humanity. Either way it is a book that makes you think, and can definitely be used as a teaching book or a critical thinking book. It is not a book you read to a 1 or 2 year old, but one you read along with older children and ask questions as you go along. I can't wait until my children are old enough to share it with them!
This story teaches the reader the importance of giving generously, without expecting anything in return. Even though the child in this story doesn't seem to show a lot of gratitude (teaching moment when I'm reading to my kids.. I ask them how they would treat the tree if they were the little boy), it shows that a giving heart is always beautiful, always worthwhile to someone who needs them. Sadly, there are people in this world who will take and take, until you have nothing left to give, and then they will turn their noses up at you and find another "sucker" to take from. This book also gives the opportunity to teach children that, while it is good to give without expecting anything in return, it's also necessary to take care of yourself, and make sure you have enough for YOU before giving too much to others. Also, helping people is always a good thing, but when someone DOES try to take advantage of your kindness, you have to walk away in order to keep yourself from ending up as a "stump".
All in all, many lessons can be found in this book, about gratitude, generosity, kindness, and learning when to say "no" to someone who would take away from you until you had nothing left without a second thought.