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The Taking Tree: A Selfish Parody

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  553 ratings  ·  126 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 cuts
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published October 19th 2010 by Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 3.95  · 
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 ·  553 ratings  ·  126 reviews

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Oct 26, 2010 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
Lisa Vegan
Oct 20, 2010 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
Nov 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Readers Who Hate 'The Giving Tree'
Shelves: picture-books, satire
Once upon a time there was a little jerk of a kid who spent his days underneath an oak tree. After one too many bad deeds - throwing acorns at old people, setting fires with the tree's leaves - the kid is carted off (to juvie, one assumes), and the tree is happy. Good things never last, however, and soon the kid is back, now wanting to go to college (which seems questionable, but let's not quibble). Demanding some apples, the kid is met with incredulous denial: "I'm an oak tree. I can't grow app ...more
Feb 09, 2011 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
Feb 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a laugh-out-loud response (and final comeuppance) to the selfishness of the human character of "The Giving Tree." Adults who were always made uncomfortable by the message sent by the famous picture book will feel some vindication.
Amara Tanith
Jan 16, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2013, reviewed
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
Dec 13, 2011 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!
Feb 05, 2011 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.
Nov 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: adult-books
NOT FOR KIDS! Absolutely hilarious. You need to read it. Especially if you don't like the messages in The Giving Tree.
Jan 13, 2011 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 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 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.
Dec 02, 2010 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...
Oct 11, 2011 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 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Love this so much. The Giving Tree is a book that everyone loves for some crazy reason - a book about a greedy-ass kid who takes and takes and takes and a tree who never says no.

This book...there's still a greedy-ass kid, but the tree...this tree has a backbone. LOVE IT.
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.
Nov 05, 2012 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.
Sep 25, 2015 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 fee ...more
Elizabeth S
Nov 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Do not read this to your children. Or at least read it first to decide if your children would appreciate it or not. Really, if you do not know The Giving Tree and if you do not find it dumb, you are not likely to understand or enjoy The Taking Tree. For people who detest The Giving Tree, this book may fill your soul with joy as you see the universe moving back into balance.

And by the way, does anyone know who really wrote this? Somehow it seems to stretch credulity that a macabre parody book of
Molly Cluff (Library!)
Jul 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
That was hilarious, if not rather meanspirited XD. I have major issues with the Giving Tree, so the snarky humor in this parody was awesome. The tone definitely reads more adult--I wouldn't read this to kids.
Feb 24, 2012 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.
Leah Parker
Jun 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
I hated the Giving Tree. This is much better! lol
Dec 14, 2010 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 and
Jan 03, 2011 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 09, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: for-me
The Taking Tree is a parody on one of my favorite books "The Giving Tree" by Shel Silverstein. Initially, I thought it would be fun to use this with my 5th and 6th graders in the library to compare and contrast the two stories. While it is a very funny book, I am not sure it sends the right message to my students. So instead, my 7th grade daughter and I had a good laugh together as we read it while sitting in the library parking lot the other day. First "picture" book I have read to her in a lon ...more
May 24, 2011 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
Dec 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
I always liked The Giving Tree, but I did find this little parody amusing. It's funny and cutesy and the artwork adds to the humor. The book does say "all ages," but I really wouldn't buy this for or read this to a young child. The message minus the satire just isn't that great, and since they wouldn't get a lot of the humor (one joke was quite political), it just wouldn't have a lot of value for an actual child.

Funny little joke of a book, but more suited for older people rather than children.
Nov 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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