The Giving Tree
by Shel Silverstein
The Giving Tree is a children's book about the relationship between a boy and a tree. The tree loves the boy very much and would give anything to see the boy happy. He lets the boy play with his leaves and in his branches. He misses the boy when he is gone. Eventually he gives his boughs to build a sail boat and the boy leaves only a stump. When he returns as an old man, the tree tells him he has nothing left to give but the boy returns his love and explains he only needs a place to sit.
This book is touching and as an adult, it made me want to call my parents and tell them I love them! The tree gives and gives and the boy takes and takes. I think it is a good example to share with students when trying to teach empathy and when trying to teach students gratitude. IN schools that have monthly character values, this would be a great resource for the library or classroom to show how it is important to appreciate what we are given and to be thankful to those that give it to us.
It was recently reviewed by Lorraine Douglas of the Canadian Review of Materials and even 40 years after it's first publication, the book is highly recommended. In fact, in 2009 the School Library Monthly journal published an article and review celebrating the 45th anniversary of its publication. This article/review tells us that initially the book was rejected for publication because it fell somewhere between a children's book and an adult book.
Silverstein, S. (1964). The giving tree. New York: Harper & Row.
Brodie, C. S. (2009). The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein--A Forty-Five Year Celebration. School Library Monthly, 26(1), 22-24. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.
Douglas, L. (2004). The Giving Tree (Book). CM: Canadian Review of Materials, 10(21), N.PAG. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.