I still do. The beginning pages read: Once there was a tree… Obviously, this story has many areas which could be discussed such as the nature of love and happiness. Their lessons, and their choice to let us dream, and turn those dreams into reality, gave me grace. Isn’t it wonderful how a tree can become a huge part of love for children? Shel Silverstein made that connection with trees decades ago. It’s all very well that children say “I should tidy my room” and then a very human thing not to do it. And yes, Winnie the Pooh is the wise one. I love Shel Silverstein’s writing, but I have to go out on a limb (sorry for the dreadful pun), and admit this was always my least favorite work by him, even as a child. Yes, it is! Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. However, as the years go by, the boy becomes selfish and demands more and more from the tree, with the tree determined to proof its love by giving into the boy's requests. Our weekly visits to read aloud are simply wonderful. It can only be experienced in the moment. So, I have done that, and will post it in the morning. Have you read the story the Forever Tree by Donna Lukas and Tereasa Surratt. The story is timeless. She didn’t want to take the gift and said she feared she would never be able to repay me for my generosity. Every year for Birthdays, my wife gave our two kids a tree planted in their name, as a donation to the Arbor Day Society. . You are a role model for reading aloud to children, Robbie! And the tree was happy. Illustrated by Shel Silverstein. Those moments are someone thinking about me, and with that gift, I want to pass on to others that I am thinking about them. I like the books myself. His book, The Giving Tree is both beloved and revered. Written by people who wish to remain anonymous. Michael, Such a treasure of Book Jennie, and you are such a treasure as teacher… And Miles has you as such a treasure in his healing process…. It was very moving. Mine is literally falling apart it has been so often read and loved. I have been blessed to never “need” for anything in my life. It is a melancholy look at love. In this post I want to reflect on some of the work I have done with philosophy in the classroom. She had received trinkets and a shirt and some other small things from others who knew her well, and while mine was just a card, it brought her to tears. We’ve had at least one other thread about it. I like just about everything from Shel Silverstein. xo. But the kid disappears for years, only to show up when he needs something and can loot from the tree. You can help us out by revising, improving and updating How wonderful! Not his final visit, but in his penultimate visit, the boy says “I am too old and sad to play”, and “I want a boat to take me far away from here.”, which is how he gets the trunk of the tree. (Like a parent who gives their retirement fund the their kid and ends up in the street). Initially, the tree and the boy are mutually dependent friends and rely on each other. The book isn’t a hard-news expose. It’s pretty clearly a child/parent relationship to me - a parent who gives all of themselves for their child’s happiness and even when they are all used up (as, inevitably, we all will be - parents or not) their sadness comes from not having more to give to their child. I am deeply touched. and Thank YOU for your gifts you always give so freely.. ❤ ❤ ❤, What beautiful words, Sue. You’re not the first to say so. Well loved books are the best of all! Their joy, brings me joy, their excitement is innocence that only lasts for a short span of a lifetime. My passion for giving became a part of every fiber of my being. Or is it a commentary on our abuse of the environment? The Question and Answer section for The Giving Tree is a great Upon first read, it seems to be a tale of selflessness and unconditional love. Super post. This a wonderful post, Jennie – great book. Eventually the tree is reduced to a stump and the boy is a miserable old man. "The Giving Tree" - What a horrible lesson it teaches. Our copy was destroyed in a flood. I think the debate about The Giving Tree tells us, as writers, a couple of things. What do guys think about the Princess who shacks up with seven midgets? Stay tuned for the reading tomorrow. And it still makes me sad and a little uncomfortable, which I reckon is just fine. That doesn’t mean they’re right though. What lends The Giving Tree its remarkable poignancy is not the tree’s love, but the story’s canvas — the passing of time. Once You Publish Your Writing, It’s Not Yours Anymore. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. I have read the words aloud to children (and to myself) more times than I can count. It’s not a primer for how to be a child. As I grew older, I noticed my mother’s giving as not just lessons, but part of her life. Every line in the book has an illustration. The holidays are supposed to be of reflection, gratefulness, thanks, forgiveness, family, and lots and lots of materialistic filler for life. l’m hoping Miles is recovered from his injury. Thank you, Dana, for giving me this book. Yes, and each one is just as simple and powerful. I’m glad you loved the quote. Growing up without ‘needs’ also came with a gratitude and understanding that not everyone in the world lives the kind of life that I was blessed to have. ( Log Out / The 1964 classic, winning many awards, has captured the minds of old, and young people. The Giving Tree Questions. And many thanks to you, Sally. Thank you, Liz. A while later the boy returned (as an older man) and said he wanted a boat to sail away in. This response in particular was poignant because it is an example of how children as young as nine (in this case) can apply philosophical notions adults develop in later life. Thank you, Robbie. Yes, I read it but would like to again. He tells a story of a giving tree that destroys itself to make a selfish boy happy, but can’t make the boy happy no matter how much it gives. These traditions have followed me into adulthood, and as I now buy gifts with my own income and give thanks for my blessings of a great career, I am more aware of the blessings to continue to never need. ( Log Out / In the very beginning of the book, ... Philosopical topic: Giving and Altruism The tree keeps on giving to the boy until it has nothing left to give. Every year as we picked and argued over who was getting the newest or coolest backpack and as we scoured over all the school supplies options at the store, we were also reminded of children our age who didn’t get choices, and who without our donation of a “Backpack Giveback” probably wouldn’t have school supplies. So, somewhere, there are trees of various maturities, growing and aging with our kids. one of the best books that shows unconditional love. Miles is recovering, yet he has a long road ahead. An editor Children need to understand why something is good/bad so they can evaluate situations independently and become a moral compass, tending toward north. Miles has a long road of recovery ahead, yet he is healing well. Their relationship is analogous to some human relationships but it’s not a relationship between two people. I remember “needing” that Easy-Bake oven when I was a child, but as I grew older and learned to distinguish between ‘need’ and ‘want’, I became more grateful everyday for never being concerned about needing anything. The classic children’s book, The Giving Tree, was written and illustrated by Shel Sil v erstein. –Winnie the Pooh-. Sometimes I wonder where mine is hiding. Do you have photos of that tree? What a great gift! A tree loves a boy, and the boy loves the tree. I agree with you. What a lovely post, Jennie! That classmate had been saving for a year to buy a bicycle, which cost $15 USD, and here I was, giving her enough money to buy it plus some. My parents shared a love of seeing us happy, and in return, we learned a love of seeing others happy. The boy on the other hand does not I never did see the point of it. The Giving Tree has a really great moral to the story. While it’s a children’s book, it pierces the heart of adults. How might the book be different if the tree were referred to as "he" or "it"? Its branches dip down. The Ging Tree is one of my favorites, too. BACK; NEXT ; Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer. 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. Yes, this is a very special book. What the children were starting to grasp was when someone should act based on duty and when it is okay to let desire take the lead. It really is a wonderful book. I am glad you are able to read to this young boy. When my parents bought a bigger house across town and we had to move I was so crushed to leave that tree. He lost his copy in a flood. He just started back to school this week, so he was tired (and happy) when I arrived for reading. Tree climbing is definitely part of being a boy. Yes, you definitely have channeled it’s spirit. Also, what’s a boy supposed to give a tree exactly? I am blessed to have family who is always going to be there to lift me up. Then people would say it’s the story of a loner who hangs around with trees instead of other people and the boy probably grows up to be a serial killer or an ecoterrorist. Thanks, Jennie. John Howell (I hope you follow his blog, Ollie needs to meet Lucy and Twiggy) was disappointed that I didn’t read the book aloud. You are a divine Light that shines love into the hearts of children.. No greater gift of giving could you yourself offer dear Jennie… I looked back to Aug. 24th because I didn’t remember reading about Miles. Jennie Fitzkee shares a much loved Children’s book that carries a powerful message…Trees are wonderful and this book is beautifully illustrated and would delight any child and adult.. You describe your memories beautifully. It sounds like a lovely book, Jennie. The Giving Tree Reflection Questions Philosophical topic: Love In the very beginning of the book, the author talks about the things that the tree and the boy did Thank you, Bette. There are no ‘special circumstances’ such as the tree having a fungus, meaning that this tree should be cut down but that this principle need not apply to all trees worldwide. I have only shown you a few of the illustrations. I get the gift of being surrounded by friends who have touched my life in some way; whether they know it or not; who are blessed with children who have the innocence to not expect anything. Best wishes, Pete. Thank you, L. Marie. Her passion for her non-profit, and her continuously giving state of being, instilled a passion within me and gave me a purpose, because it felt like it was genetic, giving was part of our family blood line. What do you think the boy's life is like when he's away from the tree? I once remember a time when my mother told us she had received a pink slip and was being laid off.
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