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The Giving Tree: 40th Anniversary Edition Book with CD    by Shel Silverstein order for
Giving Tree
by Shel Silverstein
Order:  USA  Can
HarperCollins, 2004 (1964)
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

This 40th Anniversary edition of Shel Silverstein's classic comes with a CD reading by the author, who tells the story with great feeling. It's accompanied by evocative background music. Sadly, The Giving Tree is even more relevant today than it was forty years ago.

It's a simple, brilliant allegory - both of the end of childhood and its innocence, and of the relationship between man and Mother Nature. The tree gives, and gives, and gives - to a boy who initially loves, but later exploits, her. Finally, she has nothing left but a stump, which she offers to the old man, whom she still loves. Does he, even then, understand what he has lost?

The Giving Tree will remind all ages of the joy we can experience in simple things, and of our perpetual, ever increasing selfishness when faced with the bounty of nature. Little ones will feel for the tree and its total, altruistic, maternal love. This is a tale to listen to, and read together, and to discuss at length.

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