The Giving Tree, first published in 1964 by Harper Row, is now a classic children’s book written and illustrated by Shel Silverstein that has captured the love and admiration of millions around the world. This book has become one of Silverstein’s best known titles and has been translated into more than 30 languages!
“The Giving Tree” is a sweet story about a relationship between a young boy and a tree. The tree always provides the boy with what he wants: branches on which to swing, shade in which to sit, apples to eat, branches with which to build a home. As the boy grows older he requires more and more of the tree. The tree loves the boy very much and gives him anything he asks for. In the ultimate act of self-sacrifice, the tree lets the boy cut it down so the boy can build a boat in which he can sail. The boy leaves the tree, now a stump. Many years later, the boy, now an old man, returns and the tree says, “I have nothing left to give you.” The boy replies, “I do not need much now, just a quiet place to sit and rest.” The tree then says, “Well, an old tree stump is a good place for sitting and resting. Come boy, sit down and rest.” The boy obliged and the tree was very happy.”
This book has been used to teach children the value of giving back to those that guide us as we grow. The humility required to see beyond the needs of ourselves. And the beauty of a best friend, no matter what shape that friend may take.
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