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on August 15, 2002
The Giving Tree is a beautiful book about a tree who loves a little boy. In the beginning, the love the two share is enough to make them both happy. As the boy grows older, his needs change and the tree gives him everything in order to help him achieve happiness. When the boy is gone and the tree is left with nothing, she is happy, but not really. Eventually the boy returns and the tree has nothing left to give, but the boy has changed and no longer wants anything from the tree other than the companionship they once shared, and both are happy once again.
I fell in love with this book the first time it was read to me, and my feelings have never changed. As I child I knew it was a sad book, but I didn't know why. Now that I am an adult, I can understand the cost of unconditional love and I know why the tree was sad. The fact that this book inspires so much debate is a testament to the power of Shel Silverstein's writing. There is a lesson in this book and a powerful message. For me, the key point is that in the end, the love the tree had for the boy was vindicated by his return- older, wiser, and more appreciative. My mother bought me this book when I was young because she thought it had a poignant lesson to teach. My mother tells me that the tree is every mother, and that the sadness felt by the tree is the sadness every mother feels when her child grows up and grows apart. She says every mother's hope is that her child will return someday, wanting nothing more than to to sit together in silence and to be happy. Anyone who has ever loved someone enough to let them go will understand the painful choice highlighted in The Giving Tree.
I love this book and I give it to special people in my life to celebrate our friendship. I higly recommend this book to adult and child alike.
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Whenever I am invited to a baby shower, this is always a gift from my husband & myself. I have even chose this book as a house warming gift.
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📚
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon June 14, 2014
The copy I received was the 50th anniversary edition. It is a nice hardcover, with a glossy dust-jacket that makes the book stand out on your shelf. The pages have a nice thickness to them, and the images are just what I remembered when I was little. Shel Silverstein would have been pleased with this re-print, as he was very particular about what kind of paper his illustrations were printed on, as well as the size of his images. Harper Collins did a nice job honoring and respecting that, even 50 years later, with this book and other recent re-prints/anniversary editions they are releasing. Though, he probably wouldn't be too keen on them being released on Kindle.

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!
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on October 13, 2016
My wife ordered this to read to our daughter. It was one of her favorites growing up, and the first time I read it I had to hold back the tears. It is such a beautiful story of the love of parents and their kids, or at least that is how I read it.

Growing up, our parents play with us and teach us. They provide us with what we need, and as we grow up they often try to help provide us with what we want, often to their own detriment. As we go through life we lean on them, and in the end all we really wanted was to be with them. It reminds me that my own parents have given so much so me, and there will come a day when our time is up. “The Giving Tree” reminds me that our time is short and that we don’t get be here long.

That might not be what you take away from the story, but that is my take away. As a parent, I gladly give of myself for my child just as my parents did. The truth is… I just want to be with her, and that is what my parents want from me. Time.
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on February 21, 2014
I could see how this book has garnered so many different viewpoints but I honestly don't think it's worthy of a one star. Five star? Absolutely. To me, this book is an great springboard to teach kids that there are some people who are takers - they'll take everything from you - happily and willingly - until there's nothing left. Some kids grow up to be just that - takers. They take from their parents/spouses/friends/etc without thought of what they are doing to the giver. There's dysfunctional relationships everywhere and this is a book that I used to introduce that concept and talk about it with my kids. It is a springboard for deep questions for kids... Do you think the tree should have given so much until she destroyed herself? Why do you think she did that? Do you think the boy should have accepted her gifts? Do you think he hurt her or did she hurt herself? Or both? Do you think this happens in real life? What do you think the tree should have done instead? How do you think the story would have ended had she told him no or not offered to fix his problems?

Of course, after all those questions, you can use it as a springboard for another life tool... the power of saying "no." You can love someone so much that you tell them no. And that's another lesson I think this book can help kids/adults with. Love doesn't mean always saying yes and sacrificing so much.

Shel Silverstein was able to squeeze in a serious story here. I don't think he intended for the tree to be some martyr that's representative of religious figures or a representative of unconditional love. That seems unlike SS. He always went deeper than that, that's what made his work so popular and brilliant. Shel Silverstein often wrote about the dark side of feelings/relationships/attitudes in a way that made kids/adults think and I think "The Giving Tree" is just a continuation of that dark side of humanity. I think if we can talk about the dark side of humanity with our kids and how it hurts others... maybe we can make them aware enough to grow beyond it.
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Okay so I knew this was supposed to be such a great book and it was highly recommended. My son, 3.5 years old, loves it. In fact, today he asked "why?" for pretty much every page.

But it makes me cry or want to cry whenever we read it. Essentially the tree just keeps giving and giving of itself to make this boy happy and to make herself happy (theoretically) while the boy never appears to be grateful. Eventually the boy returns to the tree at the end to sit on all that remains- a stump- and everybody is happy. Part of me thinks giving yourself to others is a wonderful thing, and the other part makes me think that over and over this tree gave and was lonely and was unappreciated... at some point, if this was real life with humans interacting with each other, it would be wise to set some boundaries. I guess this provides an opportunity as a parent to discuss a lot of real life issues, but I still struggle with it. Especially as some part of me just loves this tree so much.
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on December 2, 2013
The edition is flawless and the extras are nice, but I didn't remember this story the same. On rereading it, I was struck at how selfish the protagonist is. Yes, the tree is giving, but the recipient of all of that love had no appreciation for the tree and what it sacrificed. It made me sad to read this again, and I ended up not giving it as a gift. There are better stories out there.
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on January 2, 2015
I never expect a children's book to be hard to explain, or that it would leave an adult so unsettled or still thinking about it long after it is finished. I bought it among many other books for my 5 and 2 year old sons for Christmas, and happened to read it to my 2 year old recently (glad I tested it out with him first since he is too young to get it.) The book gets progressively more and more depressing, and I was hoping to have some sort of hopeful/nice/promising end, but that ending never came. It was just....sad. I think it can lead to good conversations with my 5 year old son though. It kind of feels like when you finish one of those movies that make you work it out in your head for awhile after it's over. The moral of the story is indeed a blurry one, and open to interpretation by each reader. One interesting aspect of that is that you can tell that people with different real life experiences will see something different in the moral, which in itself is kind of genius. All in all, this reminds me more of one of those things that look like it's for kids, but really is for adults. The theme is kind of above their heads, but it is one that can change repeatedly as they grow. Complicated stuff!
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on November 6, 2016
"The Giving Tree" is the timeless story of a story who watches a boy grow into a man, while giving everything she has, while asking for nothing (and expecting) nothing in return. It's a tale that tugs on my heart strings every time I read it; it's a staple in my life, inside and outside of my classroom.

"The Giving Tree" is a rigorous and powerful with numerous themes, serious attention to writer's craft, and simple, yet poignant, illustrations to tell a very important story. You can use this text for just about any skill, along with using it to teach life lessons. This book is the perfect way to introduce reluctant readers to books, thus helping to create their reading lives.

The language is appropriate for my 5th grade students. They will enjoy this book's pacing, the flow, and the ending of the book, just as I did as a child, and love now that I'm a teacher. I highly recommend.
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on December 24, 2013
my partners were surprised when i had somehow managed to live as long as my late twenties without having ever heard of The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. so i looked it up and bought it. only took me a few minutes to read but having only read it once, i don't think one can forget it. if only everyone loved and selflessly gave like the tree who loved the boy did.
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