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The Giving Tree [Hardcover]

Shel Silverstein
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (125 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 (125 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,825 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
93 of 95 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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8 of 8 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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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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35 of 38 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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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The gift of giving 15 Dec 2005
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This really is a near perfect book. The life stories of a tree and a boy are beautifully interwoven. Joyful and poignant without being overly moralistic, I'm not certain that the book really is sad but it is certainly moving.
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30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A cautionary tale? 18 Aug 1999
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
I read the same symposium that someone else mentioned hereIt set me to thinking about this book (which I still love) in ways I hadn't before. If you look at this story as the boy's story and not the tree's, it's possible to see it as a cautionary tale. Remember, the Tree keeps saying, "Take this or that, and then you will be happy." But after chidhood, does the boy ever seem happy? Even after he's attained the wife and family he's looked for, he wants to build a boat to sail away, being "too old and sad to play". (Although, in all fairness, maybe tragedy took his spouse from him.) At the end, he looks dejected and worn. Could Shel have been issuing a warning that anyone who does nothing but take will never be truly content? Perhaps if the boy had learned to give in return, he would have had a more contented life.Although I do see the boy as finally learning his lesson toward the end. When he returns to the stump at the end, he has to know that the tree has nothing left to give. But he is finally ready to give the tree the only thing she ever asked of him...companionship. I kinda see in the old man's face a realization of what he's done and a repentance.There's another metaphor for this as well...the metaphor of parent to child. How many children never see or appreciate the sacrifices their parents have made for them till it is too late, or almost too late? This could have been another warning Shel was issuing. END
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
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 2 days 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 11 days 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 25 days 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 2 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 3 months ago by Bruce Taylor
5.0 out of 5 stars A child and it's parent.
People seem to either really love this book or really despise it.

I read this after a friend recommended it and it was mentioned by Oliver Jeffers as one of the... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Sadaat Malik
5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless
This book is suitable for a present for a newborn, a gift for a wedding or a treasured gift. It is timeless, we love it
Published 7 months ago by Siobhan
4.0 out of 5 stars Cute But Meaningful
The Giving Tree. What can I say? I didn’t know how serious some people took a little children’s tale. I personally think it’s a cute story. We’ll see how this goes... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Jack (The Book Stop)
4.0 out of 5 stars good story
very simple nice story but thought provoking, easy for children and deep for adults. I recommend it to all parents
Published 10 months ago by flowerheart
5.0 out of 5 stars sweet story
I was sooooo glad to find this quaint story, arrived in perfect condition! and it was speedy too!!! I loved the look inside option before I bought, meant I could check if it was... Read more
Published 10 months ago by MISS J WOODS
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