Customer Review

52 of 60 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Wrong message, 12 May 2010
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This review is from: The Giving Tree (Hardcover)
This book actually shocked and disturbed me. It is not a story about love and giving at all but about greed, selfishness and indifference. I don't really see this as a book to give young children who would struggle with the ambiguity of the message and the presentation. The tree gives and gives until it is destroyed but even then the boy is not happy, just old and disillusioned.

The tree itself is an analogy of destructive servility and passivity even to the point of masochism. We want to tell the tree to say 'no' and to resist the boys manipulation and wheedling. The most disurbing picture is the one when the boy chops all the branches from the tree. At this point in the book we already identify with the tree and have humanised it to some extent and there it stands naked and without limbs. I am sure the author intended to provide us with a stark message about some aspects of society. It doubly hits home because of the minimalistic, simplistic drawings which give it a child's story book quality, but it is definately NOT a book for young children.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 18 Apr 2014 07:14:35 BDT
EnglishRose says:
I disagree.it is an important story for all children. My 4 and 7 year old both understood the story and we were able to talk about what we take from nature and how we need to respect it. Even my four year old understood it and we talked about how we can give back through recycling ect.

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Apr 2014 13:48:44 BDT
Hachiko says:
It is nice that you see this kind of massage in this book, which I have never seen before. From the very first moment on for me was the tree the mother and that child the son and the son took everything from its mother and still the mother gave and wanted to give even when she haven't had any left to give. Which can be a quite disturbing realisation when you think about it later on and compare it to your childhood or parenthood. Still I think that you are right and children in age between 4-7 can be confronted with that, just to teach them that greed is wrong.
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