The Giving Tree

Front Cover
HarperCollins Publishers, 2002 - Juvenile Fiction - 48 pages
2733 Reviews
"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.

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
1687
4 stars
472
3 stars
217
2 stars
124
1 star
233

A lovely portrayal of selfless, unconditional love. - Goodreads
The ending was disappointing. - Goodreads
I love Shel Silverstein, and I love his writing. - Goodreads
I liked the squiggly artwork. - Goodreads
However, as unsatisfying as the ending is for man - Goodreads
The pictures are spare and elegant. - Goodreads

Review: The Giving Tree

User Review  - Claire Slavovsky - Goodreads

This book is the worst. If the tree really loved the boy, she would tell him to get a job, or at least teach him to plant trees. Read full review

Review: The Giving Tree

User Review  - Colleen Overlander - Goodreads

I find that Shel Silverstein's, "The Giving Tree", is an excellent choice for a title that can be used for character education. This picture book tells an engaging and emotionally-fused story about a ... Read full review

All 722 reviews »

About the author (2002)

The most popular current writer of humorous verse for children, Silverstein was born in Chicago, Illinois, has been married and divorced, has one daughter, and currently lives in Brooklyn, New York. His career includes composing popular songs, drawing cartoons, writing many adult articles (several for Playboy), and acting. However, he is best known for his self-illustrated children's poetry. His first such book was Uncle Shelby's Story of Lafcadio, the Lion Who Shot Back (1963), the humorous tale of a lion who turns the tables on hunters. It was followed by The Giving Tree (1964), a story of a parentlike tree that gives endlessly and is endlessly used by its son. Several other such picture books followed, including The Missing Piece (1976), about a circle that goes in search of a missing piece, and its sequel, The Missing Piece Meets the Big O (1981). However, two collections of poetry are probably his best-loved work: Where the Sidewalk Ends: The Poems and Drawings of Shel Silverstein (1974), and A Light in the Attic (1981). All of Silverstein's poetry for children employs the language play common to Lewis Carroll and Edward Lear. Silverstein is probably the best of the contemporary nonsense poets for children.

Bibliographic information