Tuesday: Weekly Book Review—The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

The Giving Tree

I love this book, it is a classic but why did it take me so long to find it?

It is so refreshing to read a book, with clean simple drawings and message you can sit and contemplate. (Take and take and take? Give and give and give? Complete self-sacrifice is good? Complete self-sacrifice is infinitely sad?) The story makes me choke up every time I read it (because of course the interpretation to me is the tree is myself-as the mom-and the little boy are my children).

The Giving Tree

The story has few words but is such a meaningful parable. Here is a quick summary from amazon “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.””

And of course for when your child is old enough you MUST get Where The SideWalk Ends, A Light in the Attic and Falling Up as essential books in your library.

And also the author has a very fun interactive website, check this out too!


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