The giving tree

by Shel Silverstein

Hardcover, 1964

Status

Available

Call number

JP A Sil

Publication

New York : HarperCollins, c1964.

Media reviews

Beth Amos
Este livro é o mais conhecido do escritor e ilustrador norte-americano Shel Silverstein. O clássico, escrito em 1964, comoveu gerações com a história de uma árvore e um menino. Com poucas palavras, Silverstein fala da relação entre o homem e a natureza, onde uma árvore oferece tudo a um menino, que a deixa de lado ao crescer ao mesmo tempo que se torna num homem egoísta. Mas para agradar ao menino que ama, a generosidade desta árvore não tem fim - ainda que isto signifique a sua própria destruição. Em primeiro plano, uma lição de consciência ecológica: o homem pequeno, mesquinho, frente à generosidade e à força da natureza. No entanto, a dinâmica que vemos entre o menino e a árvore fala também da passagem do tempo e dos valores que são reavaliados com ela. A árvore ensina, por meio do afecto, uma relação de troca sincera e desinteressada - essa que o homem parece desaprender com as exigências da vida adulta. Duas fortes qualidades aliam-se neste livro. O facto de abordar questões fundamentais como o tempo, a morte, a vida, a relação amorosa e de amizade, tudo o que nos posiciona face aos outros e a nós próprios, assim como a aposta ao nível estético , na sobriedade narrativa como ilustrativa, com o traço simples e preciso de Silverstein. Shel Silverstein lança um olhar terno à arte da dádiva e ao conceito de amor incondicional no seu profundo e tocante livro infantil “A árvore generosa”. É a história sobre a relação de um menino e uma árvore. Dar ao menino tudo o que ele quer é o que faz a árvore feliz, algo que se prolonga pela vida do menino. Primeiramente, a árvore é o sítio para o rapaz brincar e comer maçãs, mais tarde é fonte de material para construir uma casa e ainda mais tarde o seu tronco serve para fazer um barco. Chegado à velhice e depois de usar tudo o que árvore tinha para dar, o que sobra é um toco. No entanto, tudo o que ele necessita nesta fase da sua vida é um sítio para se sentar e descansar, algo que um velho toco pode oferecer. As ilustrações de Silverstein são aparentemente simples – desenhos que deixam as páginas com bastante espaço em branco – cada uma demonstra a subtileza da emoção e mudança que é ao mesmo tempo cativante e básica. A perda gradual das partes da árvore é uma mensagem visual bastante forte. Na fase em que da árvore não sobra nada a não ser um toco, a ilustração acompanha na perfeição as palavras “E a árvore ficou feliz... mas não muito”. “A árvore generosa” pode ser lida e relida, pois a sua mensagem irá concerteza mudar à medida que o seu leitor cresce. Um livro que irá marcar crianças durante gerações e gerações. — Beth Amos
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Revista Babar
Era uma vez uma árvore... que amava um menino.”Assim começa esta comovedora história de Shel Silverstein publicada pela primeira vez em 1964, que há muito se tornou um clássico da literatura infanto-juvenil mundial. Todos os dias o menino vinha balançar-se nos seus ramos, comer as suas maçãs, subir ao seu tronco ou descansar à sua sombra e a árvore era feliz. Mas à medida que o tempo passa e o menino cresce, nada será como dantes. "Comovedora e agridoce história da desinteressada amizade de uma árvore por um ser humano.Desde a sua infância, o menino joga às escondidas com a árvore, balança-se nos seus ramos, come as suas maçãs, passando pela adolescência, quando grava no seu tronco um coração, pela maturidade em que corta os seus ramos para fazer uma casa e finalmente a velhice, que fecha o ciclo vital, onde a àrvore, que se sentia feliz em troca de nada, já lhe tinha dado tudo... Álbum pioneiro (a sua primeira edição em inglês foi publicada em 1964), assombroso pela sua economia de meios, já que a história se entende perfeitamente sem necessidade de ler o texto, só com as simples e expressivas ilustrações de traço negro sobre o branco."— Revista Babar
Los Angeles Times
"A história de Shel Silverstein toca tanto crianças como adultos com as suas mensagens de generosidade e partilha."— Los Angeles Times

User reviews

LibraryThing member satyridae
I adore Uncle Shelby. He wrote some of my favorite light verse ever and some hilarious songs ('Polly in a Porny with a Pony', anyone?) but I loathe this book with every fiber of my being. It's hideous. Negative twelve billion stars.
LibraryThing member hmr83
The Giving Tree
Shel Silverstein

This fiction picture book may lack an impressive word count, but makes up for it with a moral lesson for readers of all ages. Immediately, the reader is introduced to a talking apple tree. Silverstein writes of a young boy and his lifelong relationship with this tree. The tree lets the boy climb in her branches, eat of and eat of her apples, but as the boy grows older, that is not enough. The boy constantly takes from the tree, and eventually the little boy, now a grown man, wants to build a boat to escape his horrible life. So the tree tells the boy to cut her down and sail away. Eventually the boy comes back to the tree, but she has nothing left to give but a stump, perfect for resting upon, and that's just what the boy needs.

Although I have heard many odd interpretations of this story, I like the first one I hear in high school best. My high school librarian told me that this book was about the sacrifices parents make for their children. I think the author raises an issue central to our generation. We are selfish, self-centered, egotistical, and ethnocentric kids who take take take, but never give. I know there are countless short stories, novels, and other forms of literature that express the dangers of living a selfish life, but I have never read a book that made my heart twinge with such simplicity.

I think that it is very important to teach The Giving Tree to young adult readers because they are so selfish. Although it may not stink with a lot of students, hopefully it will make the students ask themselves how they treat their own parents. It's a valuable lesson that I learned later than I should have.

I would recommend this book to anyone, any age, in any situation. The central ideas of love and sacrifice are things that we encounter everyday, and we need to appreciate them.
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LibraryThing member madamepince
One of the books I dislike most of all time. Blech.
LibraryThing member gordsellar
I realize this is an uncommon reaction, but this book made me feel very, very uncomfortable. It felt more like either some kind of allegory for parental self-sacrifice--one that exaggerates just how self-sacrificing a lot of parents are--or else some kind of lauding of a kind of behaviour that, when it's actually practiced by human beings to the degree it is here, is usually a sign of something very wrong.

There's nothing wrong with teaching kids about the necessity of giving of themselves, of sharing, or even the idea of the unconditionality of love... but there is something wrong with modeling for kids that unconditional love, self-sacrifice, and giving are one-sided the way they are in this book. Even the eight-year-old I was reading it was was shocked and criticized the book for this... asking why the tree apologized after giving so much he has nothing left, and arguing that the boy is selfish. And she was reading it in her second language.

Some of Shel Silverstein's work is great, but this book is just... I'm frankly baffled so many people think so highly of it.
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LibraryThing member grapeapril75
Fantastic book for kids! So imaginative and creative. Easy read that children will find delightful!

Shel Silverstein is always brilliant! His rhymes are fun and entertaining! Some of my all time favorites!! Such a great way to entertain children and get them interested in reading!
LibraryThing member abui
Silverstein, Shel. The Giving Tree. United States: Harper & Row Publishers, 1964.

Character: A boy and an apple tree.

Setting: The forest where the tree lives.

Theme: Growing up and the gift of giving and receiving love in return.

Genre: Fiction, children’s picture book.

Golden quote: “And the tree was happy”

Summary: This is a story about a boy that loved a tree, but not as much as the love the tree had for him. As a child, the boy did not ask the tree for anything, he just wanted to play with the tree and enjoy the tree’s company. However, as he gets older, the boy starts to “need” and want more and more things in his life. He looks to the tree to provide him with everything he wanted. The tree sacrificed herself by giving him her apple, her branches, and eventually her trunk. The boy revisits the tree throughout his life, but only when he wanted something from the tree. Eventually, the boy is an old man and no longer needs anything from the tree, just some company.

Audience: Preschool and above.

Curriculum ties: Teaches kids the joy of giving, and also teaches them about love and greed.

Personal response: This is a great book for children and adults of all ages. The story is one about selflessness and acts of love. As I read the story, I felt that the relationship between the boy and the tree as he was young would not change however, as he became older, he started to show that he was more selfish. The story was very moving because this tree, which only wanted the boy to be happy so that she would feel happy, sacrificed everything she had so that she could make the boy happy. Her love knew no bounds and whatever the boy asked for he received. My favorite part of the story is the ending, when the boy comes back as an old man and asks the tree for nothing, just simply her company. It raised the idea in my head that as we become older, we actually become more like the kids we once were. In this sense, the story comes full circle. The themes in this book are a wonderful set of values to teach to our young children.
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LibraryThing member benjamin.duffy
The Giving Tree is actually two books: first, it's the book you read - or had read to you - when you were a child; then it's the book you read when you're a parent - and the two could not be more different.
LibraryThing member MattM50
I personally love this book. In this book, we see a tree being very motherly towards a young boy. Throughout it, the tree keeps giving more and more of herself until she has nothing left to give. This directly parallels what being a mother is and what she does for her children. The drawing themselves were amazing with clear cut lines and few colors to pull attention away from the story. The images of the tree getting smaller and "lesser" as the book goes on helps to exemplify the sacrifices that the tree makes for this young boy. All in all this book is a wonderful book to read to kids and carries a central message that our parents (not just our mother's) sacrifice a lot to help us out in the world. They would go so far as to hurt themselves to see us happy in this world. This book helps younger readers appreciate what their parents(care takers) truly do for them.… (more)
LibraryThing member DaytonGamble
My favorite children’s book. This book is an easy classic book that everyone should read. It teaches children such great life lessons in a simple. Very simple art work.
LibraryThing member klarsenmd
This has to be one of the top ten children's books ever written. It's message reaches out to readers of all ages.
LibraryThing member celestialfingerpaint
This is really a story about love. The kind of love that will make you sacrifice anything just to know the one you love is happy. Reading it as an adult, the boy comes off being a lot more selfish than I remember him being when I was a child. But, in the end, the tree gets the only thing she really wanted all along. It's a touching story, and one I think everyone should read.… (more)
LibraryThing member SockMonkeyGirl
I still cry every time I read this book. Not really for very young children but an excellent lesson about selflessness vs selfishness.
LibraryThing member sdho
I recently found this book after it had been missing for years. I wanted to read it again, but I knew that I shouldn't, because it reduces me to tears every time. I don't care if you're five years old or fifty: this story is worth reading for anybody.
LibraryThing member honeysmudge
I loved this book as a child because my favorite teacher read it to us. But when I read it as an adult, I thought the boy was selfish and the tree was a doormat. I don't see this book as being about a healthy relationship or healthy love.
LibraryThing member kimbrady
"The Giving Tree," though seemingly a simple story, provokes thought abut the meaning of friendship, love, and unselfishness. The story is about a tree and a boy who love each other. As the boy grows older, the tree sacrifices everything is has (leaves, apples, branches, etc.) to help the boy and make him happy. The boy takes and uses these things, and his life goes on without much thought for his old friend, and the help he has gotten. The basic black and white drawings illustrate the story while keeping the focus on the text. The ending leaves some questions: is the tree really happy? Was it foolish to give everything it had? What did it get back? This is a great story of people of all ages. Young readers will enjoy its simplicity and brevity, while older readers can identify and discuss some of the deeper themes. I would recommend this title for any school or public library collection.… (more)
LibraryThing member jshillingford
Well done morality tale about taking things for granted, and the need to appreciate nature. Wonderful. Simply wonderful.
LibraryThing member daffyduck24
This book is about giving, friendship, and love. In this book the tree loves the boy and is always giving him apples, leaves, branches and even his trunk, in order to help the boy. The boy would always go back to the tree and in the end when tho boy became old all he wanted was the tree to keep him company. At the end of the story the tree was happy because she could help the boy again by letting him sit on her trunk.

I love this book. It has been a favorite of mine since I was little and can remember my mom reading it to me. I like the lesson of giving, friendship and love that this book has. I will definitely be reading this book to my little boy.

In the classroom you could take the students outside to an apple tree and read the story. You can reflect on the story and see their reflections as well. Another idea would be to draw a tree on the board and have the students count the apples, leaves and branches.
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LibraryThing member hayleyd
For some reason I just LOVE this book. It made me cry, which I don't know why. I guess I have a weak heart =] Even though this book is for little kids, ANYONE should read it. It will make your day if you take a few minutes to read it.
LibraryThing member ReBallens
Heartbreaking tale of one who gives unconditionally until nothing is left to give.
LibraryThing member lorabear
I have loved this book since I was very little. It is a great book......I can still remember my mom reading it to me over and over agian.....a classic.
LibraryThing member crystalr
Love this book since i was little. Use this book to teach your students generosity and how wonderful it is to give than to recieve
LibraryThing member mlsullivan
The Giving Tree shows us how important nature is. It would be a great book choice for Earth Day.
LibraryThing member shoebacca
So here's the thing. I understand why some people don't like this book. The message might be taken as: give everything away, no matter what the person asks of you. But I do not think that this really is the point of this story.

There is a very sad moment in the song Puff the Magic Dragon when "Jackie Paper came no more," and Puff is too sad to do anything but slink into his cave. There's a moment in Winnie-the-Pooh when Christopher Robin explains to Pooh that he (Christopher) is growing up. And of course there is the Velveteen Rabbit. The Giving Tree is a little bit about what happens after the child grows up. The Tree cannot really understand what The Boy is going through--and neither does a little kid reading the story, on one level, but the rhythm and charm of the poetry make it seem imaginable . There is a heartbreaking poignancy to how the story keeps refering to The Boy, even though the pictures show him getting older and older. He does not always treat the Tree well. He takes what he can from the force that nourishes him at his origin--where he grew up; and in the end he returns there, and finds--they both find-- that he has not exhausted what it had to give him.

This is one of the first books I ever encountered which made me understand that I would get old one day, and it felt more real to me than Peter Pan.

I would not say that The Giving Tree is necessarily about how one ought to treat someone else. That is one way to read the book, but there may also be times when the right thing to do is to NOT give something away. But the book is about a long view of life, and how love is still there, always.
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LibraryThing member EricHerboso
As she was packing, I stood off to the side, mostly watching. Supposedly, I was there to help with heavy items, but she kept going through the lightest things, and all I could do was just stand by awkwardly and keep her company.

It was weird, I guess, listening to her troubles. Her husband isn't exactly the greatest guy out there, but she feels stuck in her life with him because of the child. Their little girl requires special care, and it would be extremely difficult to do what is best for her if they were to separate.

But then, in between bringing up another horror story of the worst kind, she pauses, having noticed a book--_the_ book. El Arbol Generoso (in English: 'The Giving Tree'). It is a few moments before she remembers me.

"Eric," she finally begins, "this book is my mantra. This book is who I _am_, and I want you to read it." With that, she hands the book over to me.

I am momentarily dazed. The book is in spanish, yet I speak the language only very poorly. But I open the book anyway. After all, it is a children's book with lots of big pictures. Maybe I'll be able to muddle through it.

Those next few minutes made me _feel_. Oh, how I felt. I was unable to rush through it, because I had to translate as best as I could with my limited spanish. Every sentence--every word--had full effect on me. It tore at my heart, made me cry, yet also it was so very beautiful that I felt I was soiling it with my hands as I turned each page.

I did not deserve to read that book. Not then. Not there. But I did anyway. And it was amazing.

When she saw how moved the book made me, she gave me the book on the spot. I tried to refuse, but she insisted. It was one of the top five gifts of my entire life.

Today, El Arbol Generoso holds a place of honor on my desk at work. It stands between my phone and my computer monitor, accompanied only by a few photos of those I love most. My other books rest on a bookshelf, but Shel Silverstein's masterpiece is displayed prominently to remind me each day of true beauty.

If you haven't read The Giving Tree, then you need to. But don't just flip through it at a bookstore. Take it home with you and wait until the time is right. And take your time with each page. Believe me: it will be worth it.
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LibraryThing member RyaneClayton
This book is a story about a tree and her best friend, the boy. The story goes through the different stages of the boys life by showing the unconditional love and loyalty of the tree. The tree gave itself in every way possible to give the boy what he wanted and he took and never really appreciated until the end of the story when the tree had given all it had. Then the boy, who then was a very old man, realized his unreturned appreciation and love towards the tree and felt grateful for all the tree had done for him.… (more)

Original publication date

1964

ISBN

9780060256654

Call number

JP A Sil

Barcode

5213
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