Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Giving Tree

Author: Shel Silverstein

Appropriate Age: 4-8

About The Author:

Shel Silverstein is a wonderfully popular author among children's literature. His life is as colorful as his books. He grew up in Chicago and went to school there before being drafted into the military. After he was honorably discharged from the army in 1955 he began his career writing. While he is best known for his poetry collections he has also drawn cartoons for several newspapers, magazines and written several screenplays. Two of his books are dedicated to his two children. His son Matthew is his only successor and published one unfinished book after Silverstein's death in 1999. His books and illustrations still inspire children today to be silly and laugh out loud while loving literature.

About The Book:

The Giving Tree is a classic among classics. Published in 1965, the book is still popular among today's children. It starts with a boy who loves to play with a tree in the forest. He does all kinds of childlike things such as swinging from branches and playing king of the forest. As he grows older though he doesn't appreciate the tree as it was but takes what it can give him. However, later in life he learns to appreciate the tree again as an old friend.
Why Little Aristotle's Library Loves It:

I remember loving this book and having a great many discussions with my parents about what it meant, even as a small child. It was a tool they used to discuss "wants" versus "needs." The boy always says he needs more money or needs a new boat, but really they are just his desires.

"I loved all of Silverstein's books as a kid. He had so many great books of poetry. There was one poem called 'Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout Will Not Take the Garbage Out,' and my dad used to read it and get faster and faster until I would laugh out loud. It is a great memory for me."

--Caitlin R. (A Little Library Supporter)

All of Silverstein's books are expertly done and reach to the deepest pits of our souls to make us think or to make us smile. This is one book that I know children as well as adults can benefit from to inspect their own lives.

Other Books You Might Like...

Silverstein has many famous children's books and collections of poetry that are wildly popular as bedtime stories or are fun to read at any other time of day. If you enjoyed "The Giving Tree" you might also enjoy "Where the Sidewalk Ends," "Falling Up," "A Light in the Attic," "The Missing Piece" or the most recently published "Runny Babbit."

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