Title: The Giving Tree
Author/Illustrator: Shel Silverstein
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers (1964)
Ages: 7 and up (the Publisher has it listed for 10+)
Themes: Growing up, cause and effect, friendship, giving, acceptance
Once there was a tree
And she loved a little boy.
And every day the boy would come
And he would gather her leaves
and make them
and play king of the forest.
This is a delightful tale of the friendship and love of a little boy and his beloved tree. The tree is always there for the boy, all through out his years. It is a story of love and friendship told in the perfect way that Shel Silverstein was known for.
From the publisher: 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.com has a wonderful collection of activities, downloadables and even an app!
Unique teaching resources.com has some great ideas on using the book in the classroom
The Web English Teacher has some lesson plans
Easy Fun School is a homeschool site with neat ideas for use with the Giving Tree
Lesson Planet has a list of various lesson plans that help to: build ethical conscience, developing healthy snacks, learn poetry, etc.
Arbor Day.com has a wonderful program of giving the gift of a tree!
Arbor Day.com also has a link to volunteer to help plant trees in or near your community
Another wonderful resource at Arbor Day.com is the children’s activities page. Full of fun ideas for children and their families
Why I like this book: I was reminded of this book when LeVar Burton read it during the World Read Aloud day on the Google Ed Google+ page. He read The Snowy Day and The Giving Tree. It was really wonderful! Most of you will remember LeVar as the host of the award winning PBS kids show, Reading Rainbow (And Star Trek The Next Generation and Roots!). Unfortunately, Reading Rainbow is no longer on the air, except maybe in rerun form. But, some exciting news that he shared was that Reading Rainbow is being reincarnated as an app! Kids will be able to use it for free. Such a great idea! Here is the video of LeVar reading as well as information on World Read Aloud Day and a Q&A with him:
The Giving Tree is a wonderful tale of growing up and the value of friendship. I really love the message of this book. Even though the reading is fairly simple, the concepts are a bit complex. So maybe that is why the publishers chose an older age bracket for it. I personally think younger children would enjoy it, but that, I guess, is up to the parent
Here is The Giving Tree movie I found on Youtube. It’s from 1973 and is narrated by Shel Silverstein.
Perfect Picture Book Fridays are a weekly blog event where participants review some of their favorite picture books. The posts are compiled on author Susanna Leonard Hill’s website. They are categorized by theme to help parents, educators and readers find the perfect picture book easily. To learn more, please visit Susanna’s site where you will find the complete PPBF’s library.