Saturday, June 1, 2013

One of the best....Ladies and Gentlemen....The Giving Tree

"A great book should leave you with many experiences, and slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading."
                                                  ~William Styron

Title:  The Giving Tree   (1964)
Author: Shel Silverstein

This is a timeless, powerful book about friendship that readers either hate or love.  Some imagine the tree as a mature, patient mother dependently being there for her child throughout his entire life or the tree can be seen as a masochistic female with no boundaries or limits.  Shel Silverstein's fable about a deeply giving tree and a thoughtless taker, the boy, will remain in your heart forever.  It is one of the best selling children's books of all time.  Both the spare text and the simple line drawings are like haiku and beautiful, may I add. The reader is challenged to think about how sometimes we take the things we love for granted and how we have to correct that before it is too late.  The cycle of the boy's life is captured and coincide with the stages of the trees growth.  It is sad that they both ended up old and broken and had nothing left but themselves.  This is a classic, sensitive parable about selflessness.

Questions you might consider asking after you've read the story together:

1. What message did the author want to tell his readers?

2. Do you like how the tree treats the boy?

3. Is the boy demanding too much of the tree?

4. How do you feel about the tree?

5. Did the boy take the tree for granted?  How would you have behaved?

About the Author:

Shel Silverstein   FAMOUS AS: Poet, Singer-Songwriter, Musician, Composer, Cartoonist and Screenwriter

BORN ON: 25 September 1930
BORN IN: Chicago
DIED ON: 10 May 1999
NATIONALITY: United States
ZODIAC SIGN: Libra    Famous Libras
WORKS & ACHIEVEMENTS: Won Grammy Award for the song "A Boy Named Sue" and wrote number of other hit songs, his children books sold over 20 million books in 20 languages, famous for his book "The Giving Tree".

Just for fun:

As a dedicated Mac user, this is my favorite.

Naturally, there are many tattoos of images from the book.

Shirts and Clocks, of course.

The wedding ring has to be the most fascinating to me...  I want to say that it misses the point.  But does it?

Can Art Installation


Obviously, some people are upset by the book.

And, last but certainly not least, as a 30 Rock fan, there was no way I could leave out this picture of Tracy Morgan reading the book and sobbing.

                                         * above section re-posted from Books4kids with thanks!

Book review rating:    9   (Close to perfection!)

Read on and read always!  Have an awesome day!

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