Robert's Reviews > The Giving Tree

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
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's review
Feb 17, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: 2-9, fiction, love, trees, silverstein, own, personification, in-classroom
Read on February 17, 2012 — I own a copy , read count: 16

When I first began teaching, Silverstein was one of the authors I took to immediately. I really enjoy his work. That he had such an interesting life and mingled with others that I liked from other areas of my life made him even greater, it seemed, in my mind.

Of all Shel's works, this has been my favorite. The simplicity is wonderful. I used to read this all the time to my classes. I haven't done that in some time.

I recall thinking ahead how I would eventually read this to my children. A few years ago Beetle was the recipient several times. Tonight, it was Fritz's turn. He fought at first since he likes different kinds of books, but once I began reading, he got right with it. He enjoyed spotting the different things in the pictures. Each time apples were mentioned, he stated how much he enjoyed eating red apples and green apples, and yellow apples. It's all a lie, mind you, as the boy does not eat apples. Nevertheless . . .

Beetle had a rough evening tonight. After Fritz's bedtime story I went in to console her. I asked if she wanted a story. She did. She wouldn't let me read to her. Instead, my little girl read me this book. She is so growing up. After a page or two, her tears disappeared and she really read with expression. The only word she stumbled on was "straightening".

While this wonderful family moment would seem to have that "awwww" moment, I could help but think through tonight's two readings how whacked out Silverstein was. He wrote the tree as such a loving and compassionate friend of the boy. Shoot, the boy carved the tree, cut its branches, and came back and cut its trunk. Instead of being happy to provide a seat for the boy in his old age, I think if I were the tree I would have told him to take a hike. That's probably why St. Peter will not open the door for me . . .

This copy of the book is very special; it was given to me in 1993 by one of my nephews. He is overseas currently protecting us. God bless!

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