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The Giving Tree [Hardcover]

Shel Silverstein
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (130 customer reviews)
RRP: 12.99
Price: 9.09 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

2 Dec 2010

The Giving Tree is a classic and moving story by Shel Silverstein.

Once there was a little 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 and gave.

This is a tender story, touched with sadness, aglow with consolation. Shel Silverstein has created a moving parable for readers of all ages that offers an affecting interpretation of the gift of giving and a serene acceptance of another's capacity to love in return.

Shel Silverstein's very first children's book Lafcadio, the Lion Who Shot Back was published in 1963, and followed the next year by two other books. The first of those, The Giving Tree, is a moving story about the love of a tree for a boy; it took four years before Harper Children's books decided to publish it. Shel returned to humour that same year withA Giraffe and a Half. His first collection of poems and drawings, Where the Sidewalk Ends, appeared in 1974, and his second, A Light in the Attic, in 1981. When he was a G.I. in Japan and Korea in the 1950, he learned to play the guitar and to write songs, including 'A Boy Named Sue' for Johnny Cash. In 1984, Silverstein won a Grammy Award for Best Children's Album for Where the Sidewalk Ends - 'recited, sung and shouted' by the author. He was also an accomplished playwright, including the 1981 hit, 'The Lady or the Tiger Show.' The last book to be published before he died in 1999, was Falling Up (1996).


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Particular Books; First Illustrated Edition edition (2 Dec 2010)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 1846143837
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846143830
  • Product Dimensions: 17.7 x 22.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (130 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,203 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

From the Author

Forever with me
This book was given to me by my Aunt Barbara who, without a doubt has never given me anything worth while until this gift. When I was younger I read this book and cried - now i am 23 years old and every time I read it, I cry- this book is the most amazing book ever written in my opinion - but don't take my word for it read it yourself. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Shel Silverstein's very first children's book Lafcadio, the Lion Who Shot Back was published in 1963, and followed the next year by two other books. The first of those, The Giving Tree, is a moving story about the love of a tree for a boy; it took four years before Harper Children's books decided to publish it. Shel returned to humour that same year with A Giraffe and a Half. His first collection of poems and drawings, Where the Sidewalk Ends, appeared in 1974, and his second, A Light in the Attic, in 1981. When he was a G.I. in Japan and Korea in the 1950, he learned to play the guitar and to write songs, including 'A Boy Named Sue' for Johnny Cash. In 1984, Silverstein won a Grammy Award for Best Children's Album for Where the Sidewalk Ends - 'recited, sung and shouted' by the author. He was also an accomplished playwright, including the 1981 hit, 'The Lady or the Tiger Show.' The last book to be published before he died in 1999, was Falling Up (1996).

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
95 of 98 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A perfect little book 29 Nov 2003
Format:Hardcover
2 days ago, on the recommendation of someone whose judgment i respect and whose favourite book this is, i started to read The Giving Tree. "Once there was a tree...and she loved a little boy". A few minutes later i was wiping away a tear, and reeling from an unexpected welter of feelings. It is profound, wise, beautiful and moving. It's simple but its heart and its scope are enormous. In barely 600 words and a couple of dozen illustrations, with a quiet serenity that puts to shame much of the "great" and famous literature, it suggests the important things in life and a whole range of themes- parenting, childhood, joy, time, aging, absence, self-sacrifice, selfishness, loss, consolation, materialism, nature's gifts and, above all, unconditional love. Some have said it's too sad for children and too simple for grown ups. For this 42 year old it's the loveliest discovery, and quite perfect.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What is it really about? 7 Dec 1997
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
The Giving Tree is popularly thought to be about selfless giving and it's virtues. But the author himself says, "it's basically a story about a relationship between 2 people, 1 who gives, and 1 who takes"....this is revealing, because it shows to me more of an unhealthy "co-dependent" relationship, and what happens when a "tree" gives and gives (she's bled dry) and that the "boy" (a taker) is never satisified, even 'til death with the taking. No, this book is not about the virtue of selfless giving, it's a study in a certain type of human relationship. Not necessarily the best, and healthiest of those types. Shel himself doesn't think the tree is worthy of veneration. Neither do I.

But it's just as powerful...it's a study of symbiotic relationships...and ask yourselves, "Would I want to be the tree??" and ask yourselves, "Would i want to know the boy?" Think on the answers after you read it and your view of the book may change. Even more powerful perhaps when you really see what it's about.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So touching 27 Feb 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I read this book standing up in the bookshop. I don't have children and it was to be a gift for a friends son. It is about giving, and giving too much. It's about taking, and taking too much. It's about parenting, friendship, using others and being used by others. It's about consequences, relationships, selfishness, selflessness, thoughtlessness, consideration, the passage of time. It's about how things don't really matter, only relationships and so much more. I bought the book and am so surprised to have felt so touched as a result of a simple trip to the childrens section. I will be buying more copies.
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35 of 39 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Whichever way you look at it ...... 29 Dec 2002
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Whichever way you look at this book you have to agree, that for such a short piece, it is reaching you in places you never thought it would or could. I'm reading the reviews and I agree with them all, the bad and the good. My little girl doesn't fully understand it yet I think but I read it for one of her friends tonight and she did. I was introduced to Silverstein by my American brother-in-law and while some of it isn't easily translated by my daughter, most of it is. And she reads in wonderment now!!! I don't want to explain too much of what I think the Giving Tree is about, I'd rather she came to her own conclusions but she loves the story just as it is, a story. And she loves me reading it to her friends who come to visit. This has become a staple in this house...long may it last! And for those of you worried about giving this to your children after reading some of the reviews: let them make their own mind's up! You'll be surprised at the depth of your children.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Never a book so simple can touch so many. 2 Feb 1999
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
You might think I am silly, I am a 26 year old guitarist in a metal band, and in the professional wrestling biz. And if there is one thing that rarly happenes to me is something that would make me cry. One day, I was at a Walmart with a friend of mine, and as he was scanning through the Hot Wheels (he collects them), I was roamin through and decided to pick up a book that was sitting on on a rack near the board games aisle, that one is none other than "The Giving Tree". So so I decided to scam through it then somehow I started to carefully read it. Then those words and pictures started to touch me. I finished reading it and went home. That book was in my mind for a good long while. Then as I came in to this website, and read those reviews about a book so beutiful I started to cry. That story is a type of vision I cannot shake off. This is the most touching book I have ever read. Something so simple, but yet it touched this Gen Xer pro wrestler. Get this book, I guarantee it will touch you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a personal reply 23 Jun 1999
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
I have a personal acquantance with this lovely book. For five long, glorious years, I dated this beautiful woman. We were very much in love, although it seemed that I was the one who tried the hardest to make sure she was happy. After a while, our relationship started to disintigrate, as all things of wonder usually do. I tried harder and harder to make things right, although it was more like a force of nature tearing us apart. I gave and I gave and she took and she took and she tried to give something back but, perhaps, it was well beyond her capacity at that point when things were somehow ruined. As we split, over a dark and miserable Christmas, one of my gifts was this book, with a very personal inscription written inside. It began, "To (---), my giving tree . . ." This showed absolute understanding not only of our lives and our relationship for so long (she was abandoned by her parents at 18 and I, a few years older, took her in and saved her life) and also a beautiful understanding of the message of this book: Love is cruel and there can only be one victor, no matter how much emotion is reciprocated. All things die in nature, be it a person, a plant, a flower or a feeling. Everything ends.
I wish to thank my anonymous ex-girlfriend for this lovely gift. It helped me through many of the darkest hours of seemingly perpetual lonliness.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Perfect!
Published 25 days ago by Mrs Sally Farrell
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Beautiful.
Published 1 month ago by V. Homem
4.0 out of 5 stars touching
I didn't know that this book would be SO SHORT.
but a lot to think about after reading it.
i read it again and again.
and there's so much room... Read more
Published 3 months ago by M. Wai
5.0 out of 5 stars Sad and wonderful
I cannot read this book without crying. It is a simple and truly beautiful little tale. Recommend but be prepared to be moved!
Published 3 months ago by Dr H.
5.0 out of 5 stars Giving
Shel has written this very endearing and popular story, which is thought-provoking on many layers. It appeals to all ages and has timeless messages. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Lynne Byatt
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful. Important message for mankind.
I read this story to my 4 and 7 year old. It is a wonderful way to remind ourselves and make our children think about how much we take and take from nature. Read more
Published 4 months ago by EnglishRose
5.0 out of 5 stars Good talking point.
I never read this as a child, only recently as an adult.

I think it is an interesting talking point, is it suitable for Children? Read more
Published 4 months ago by Paul G
5.0 out of 5 stars Read this to my Grandson.
I read this to my Grandson and loved it, although I found it very sad. Thought I would have my own version.
Published 5 months ago by Mrs D
4.0 out of 5 stars The Pleasing Tree
The giving tree is a pleasing tree that loves to please the little boy and wants nothing back at all. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Cas Allas Mazda
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful
I had never heard of this book and was drawn to it by the strength of feeling it clearly generates judging by other reviews. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Bruce Taylor
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