'Once there was a tree...and she loved a little boy.'
So begins a story of unforgettable perception, beautifully written and illustrated by the gifted and versatile Shel Silverstein.
Every day the boy would come to the tree to eat her apples, swing from her branches, or slide down her trunk...and the tree was happy. But as the boy grew older he began to want more from the tree, and the tree gave and gave and gave.
This is a tender story, touched with sadness, aglow with consolation. Shel Silverstein has created a moving parable for readers of all ages that offers an affecting interpretation of the gift of giving and a serene acceptance of another's capacity to love in return.
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Reading Level: 5+
"Simply one of the best books ever written. It's a story about growing up, life, love, and pulling your head out of your butt long enough to appreciate and respect what you already have, before it's too late.
Though I might revise this review when I'm feeling less cynical, it truly is one of the greatest books of all time, and should be required reading for, or read to, all kindergarten bound children, then again when heading to high school and yet again before marriage. It's a story about selfless, unconditional love, the kind of love that lasts a lifetime, and stays with you forever.
The truth is, it's written for kids, but I know many adults who would do well to learn, and follow, the lesson taught in this story."
"I have always loved this book, so I was surprised at how many reviewers hated it. As a child I wondered how the tree could give so much. Now that I am older, I know that parents/caregivers do give that much to their children/charges (if metaphorically). So are all parents saps? Certainly they do not literally give house and home, but the sacrifices we make for the ones we love have no quantifiable limit. This book isn't supposed to teach children the value of sharing so much as it shows that sometimes love and sacrifice go hand in hand. I think it demonstrated beautifully the differences in age and understanding inherent in parent/child relationships. Is the tree a martyr? Maybe. I guess I'd have to read it again. But I think a book able to spark such heated emotion is definitely a book worth reading. It gains a permanent place on my bookshelf."
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