For Valentine’s Day, I thought I’d write a review about this book.  Like many other books I review, this is a classic and has been around for a while (the image here is one of the 50th anniversary edition).

The Giving Tree is a book about a boy and a tree who develop a relationship that lasts for decades.  The tree is female, so almost like a mother-son relationship.  Initially, they started with simple things – the boy would gather leaves from the tree, climb on her trunk, pick her apples.  Later on, as the “boy” grew older and life got more complex, he asked for more and more.  He wanted money, lots of apples to sell, branches, and even part of the tree trunk.  He also spent less and less time playing with the tree, and only came by when he wanted something.  At the end, the “boy” was old and the tree was merely an old stump in the grown.  Our desires and needs do get more simple as we age.  The “boy” returns finally, only wanting somewhere to sit and rest.  That made the tree happy.

You walk away feeling like a one-sided relationship just played out.  There is such a thing as giving too much, I think.  Even between a parent and child, I feel there should be gradual evolution of give and take but that’s my opinion.  Overall, I think it’s a good one for the family library.  Click here if you’d like to buy a copy.

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About the author:  Shel Silverstein was born on September 25, 1930, and died on May 10, 1999.  He was educated at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts, served in the US Army, and wrote several books focusing on young readers.  He was also a songwriter and received 2 Grammy Awards in his lifetime.  Here is a website focusing on his works.