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The Taking Tree: A Selfish Parody

3.93  ·  Rating Details  ·  397 Ratings  ·  97 Reviews
We all know the story of the "selfless" tree that gave all she had just to make sure a young boy was "happy".
Snore. This is a different tree. This is a different boy. This is a very different book.
The Taking Tree is not so happy when the boy takes her twigs to pick on his sister, or takes her apples to sell for college (she's an oak tree for goodness sake), or when he cu
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published October 19th 2010 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,051)
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Nov 17, 2010 karen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: for-laughter
so i was waiting until the gods of media mail delivered david's (yes, belated) birthday copy of this book to him before i wrote my own review. i know my reviews are a secret joy to him, and i didn't want his view of the book to be tainted by my keen critical eye. i also figured it was his duty to review it first.

you see, david's review of the giving tree is quite legendary, don't you know? like, golden age legendary. much like the aurora borealis, it can only be seen on certain nights, when the
At present my reading has slowed down ever so slightly as i foolishly began to watch the box set of 'The Wire' and am fast becoming addicted. However i am trying to restrain myself and just watch a couple of episodes at a time. I find I am using the remote a good deal as I pause and rewind to try to fathom what on Gods own earth half of the characters are saying.

If this tree had a role in the series she would, as I note americans like to say, kick ass; whether on the side of the cops or the dru
Feb 09, 2011 Nick rated it did not like it
Shelves: juvenile-fiction
While I am not a huge fan of The Giving Tree, and thought that it was one of Silverstein's lesser books in many ways, I cannot in good conscience support such a primitive and mean-spirited parody as this. The final straw was the "author notes" parodying Silverstein's life and career. Shel Silverstein was a very creative man in a variety of fields. The person who wrote this parody isn't, based on the results here.
There are adults and children who will find this book to be funny, mostly those who
Lisa Vegan
Oct 20, 2010 Lisa Vegan rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: adults who intensely dislike, or at least don’t like, the classic book The Giving Tree
This quirky parody book went from really entertaining for me, a reader who hates The Giving Tree ( with a passion, to okay maybe this is too topical, dark, dumb, black, with perhaps unwarranted or misplaced bias, etc. to the last pages and especially the last page, which was brilliant and to which I say touché! Touché particularly as regards to me, someone who hates the original book but who has a good 10,000 books in her apartment.

This picture book has a
Aug 09, 2013 Amara rated it liked it
Let me start with an anecdote.

When I was a junior in high school, I took a Creative Writing class with a friend of mine. Toward the end of the year, the douchebag teacher assigned us a project; we were each to choose a favorite author and one of his or her books to do a short presentation on. (What that has to do with Creative Writing, I don't know. It seems like our time would have been better suited to, you know, writing.) A sophomore acquaintance in the class chose to do her presentation on T
Jubilation Lee
Originally, this book was going to get a solid three stars. It's ridiculous, yes, but so is The Giving Tree. And while this oak tree still gives pretty much everything to the boy, she does so under duress--or is that worse than the original, because at least in the original she thought she loved the boy, whereas here it's like... abusive...? Regardless! I laughed a couple of times, so it was going to get a medium-high review.

Then I read the back flap, where they basically tear Shel Silverstein t
Jan 13, 2011 Brixton rated it it was ok
For those who loved The Giving Tree, do not fear. As with most parody, this will only be "funny" for a short period of time; there is much in here that, if it isn't already (and I say it is), will become dated very quickly (eg, a reference to the US 2008 election).

It seems to be a trend nowadays to trash Shel Silverstein's classic children's book (hence we just so happen to now have The Taking Tree, to squeeze a few bucks out of that, no doubt). I have the impression it's more cool to assume ki
Apr 20, 2011 Matthew rated it it was amazing
Thank goodness someone finally got around to taking The Giving Tree down a peg or two. I can't remember a book that has been so widely loved and so severely misread in the history of literature. Everyone loves the fact that this boy takes and takes and takes some more and the tree so graciously, so lovingly, so unthinkingly just gives every last piece of itself to the boy to give him a little happiness. Who taught the boy the value of respect for others? No one. And yet everyone I ask is just in ...more
Oct 19, 2010 Kathrina rated it it was amazing
Oh my god, I love this book. With all due respect, I also love Silverstein, but mostly because he can be so cynical and cantankerous but still appeal to a children's sensibilities. But here we have a cynical take on one of Silverstein's more sentimental works, and I just can't get enough of it. Tree, I feel your pain. Tucker Max fans, get the f*ck out of my bookstore. But buy this first.
Feb 05, 2011 Melody rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Darsa
Really, really funny. Especially if you, like me, hate The Giving Tree with all your heart.

It's a one-trick-pony, this book, and it only exists to mock Uncle Shelby. The end is brilliant. The illustrations are adequate but not stellar.

Worth reading if you're a cranky old curmudgeon.
Apr 19, 2013 Emily rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels, humor
"He told the tree, 'I want to go away to college, but I have no money to pay for it. Will you give me your apples?'
The tree said, 'I'm an oak tree. I can't grow apples. When have you ever seen me grow apples?' ... 'Is there even a college that takes apples as tuition?' asked the tree."
Dec 02, 2010 Michael rated it really liked it
Shelves: humor, picture-books
Okay, even if you love The Giving Tree, admit it. That selfish, snot-nosed kid really ticks you off. Gimme this, gimme that. I want apples, I want wood, la la la. Don't you sometimes just wish that tree would...
Beyond the Pages
The TakingTree is a parody, but I must say that I didn't like it one little bit. Not a bit! The story was ridiculous and horrible. The end.
Dec 08, 2012 Marga rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: No. No one in a million years.
Originally posted at WorthlessWords.

Before I start my review I want to inform you of important stuff to understand why I disliked this book.

I read Children's books for two reasons; (1) for my future students when I graduate from college and become a teacher and (2) because I'm a child-at-heart and I love the lessons I learn from them.

And... I LOVE The Giving Tree. LOVE.

I read this out of curiosity. I saw it while browsing for Children's books or books in general to read at a bookstore near schoo
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jerri Stephenson
Sep 21, 2015 Jerri Stephenson rated it it was amazing
I thought this book was hilarious! I read it with my 8 year old little friend and she totally loved it. We have the same sense of humor. I wasn't a huge fan of The Giving Tree. It makes me sad every time I read it, thinking maybe I'll like it if I try it again. Nope, don't like it as always.

I guess the reason I like this book and think it's actually a good children and adult's book, is because it teaches that giving no matter what (compliance) doesn't make people treat you with more respect (acc
Julia Reynolds
Jan 10, 2015 Julia Reynolds rated it really liked it
This book won’t count toward my 100 books in 2013, as it’s a picture book and I apparently adore imposing arbitrary restrictions on myself when I’m already stressed. But I found it today in the Center for Children’s Books and got to bring it home…and may gift it to a cute family I know.

I ADORE this book. Anyone who has read The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein knows the timeless classic tale of a selfless tree who continues to give to the boy throughout his life, even though he keeps on coming ba
Dec 13, 2011 Sari rated it it was amazing
The Giving Tree has creeped me out my entire life. I found The Taking Tree at the library while I was browsing with my four year old and was glad there wasn't anyone else around because I laughed my head off! Not sure it should have been in picture books, but it was a terrific book, I loved it!
Mar 14, 2012 Catherine rated it liked it
For anyone who is bothered by the greedy kid in The Giving Tree, this book is for you. I laughed out loud at parts of it.
Sep 25, 2015 Stacy rated it really liked it
I detest The Giving Tree so much so that I refuse to read it to my sons: I could not stand to have my boys exposed to the possibility of being such selfish a**holes as to use a girl and not even any remorse at all (why did the tree have to be female anyway?). So when I heard there was a parody book that finally gave some hutzpah to the tree, I ordered it immediately. And while it's not a Disney-fied, rainbow, & unicorn version by any means, at least it's more honest about how the tree should ...more
Dec 14, 2010 Lucia rated it did not like it
I can not believe that Simon&Schuster put their name on this book and might be even remotely selling it to children. It certainly is a selfish parody, and perhaps the tree does win in the end. Do we really know? I am not one to deny the public access to books, but I'm not sure who the author knew to get this one published in the first place. Crazy? Yep. Freaky? Absolutely! Should it be on shelves in the children's department of any library? Probably not.

And I keep looking at the book jacket
Vlacious Selachii
May 23, 2015 Vlacious Selachii rated it liked it
Video Review:

"It went back and forth. It was really funny sometimes, and then sometimes it just had like a lot of writing, which is hard to read and it was boring.... I think the tree should have just killed the kid earlier."
Jie Gao
Dec 26, 2015 Jie Gao rated it did not like it
I abandoned this book in the middle when reading to a 3-year old. We both agree that this book is about a bad guy. For an adult this book is OK, but probably not good for children who don't quite know what is correct and what is wrong
Aug 18, 2014 Rachel rated it did not like it
The idea was funnier than the actual book.
If the parody were to be more literal, the child would have been a giver.
But in this book, the boy isn't just selfish, but also a criminal. And the tree hates him.

Aug 16, 2014 Elaine rated it liked it
A parody of the book "The Giving Tree". Started out funny, but went on a bit too much. I didn't care for the ending. Would not recommend for young children, the book did not teach behavior you would like to encourage!
Jan 03, 2011 Aura rated it really liked it
We stumbled upon this in the bookstore the other day and, despite the book's charming and various hooks - e.g. greetings, hilarious title! - we are somewhat sheepish to report that it was actually "by Shrill Travesty" that nudged us into picking it up. What can we say?? We are a sucker for ridiculous pseudonyms, apparently.

At this point the classic original story, Silverstein's The Giving Tree, is but a faded, disgruntled memory in our brain, but that does not mute the effect of the parody. 'Ti
Mar 14, 2014 Katie added it
this was a fantastic read for a Friday afternoon. I DO NOT like The Giving Tree ... the satire in this book was perfect
Dec 29, 2014 Dave rated it it was amazing
Simply hysterical - a great companion book to The Giving Tree - loved it!!! Wish there were 6 stars.
May 24, 2011 drowningmermaid rated it really liked it
Yes. It is what you think. And I found it hilarious, even though I liked "The Giving Tree" fine.

"The Giving Tree" is sort of the "Twilight" of children's books. Only with better prose. You either like it, because it is syrupy and sweet and moving in a sort of demented way. Or you loathe and despise it for being a parable espousing the old lie: just be nice, keep sweet, and if only your dreams are myopic enough, they shall all come true.

This sentiment deserves to be parodied. And there ought to
Aug 28, 2015 Katrina rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2015
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