Confession: I cried the first time I read "The Giving Tree" as a parent. Like, could barely get through it cried. Sure, it may have been those wild postpartum hormones, but man, did Shel Silverstein really hit the nail on the head of what a parent's love really is all about.
This book is about a tree who loves a little boy very much. The boy loves the tree too. We watch as the tree gives the little boy exactly what he needs through every stage of his life. From letting the child swing on its branches, to the adolescent selling its apples for money and the adult using its wood for a house and boat, the tree gives and gives. It is the act of giving that makes the tree happy. Even when the tree thinks it has nothing left to give, it is still exactly what the boy needs. And although it no longer has leaves, apples, branches, or a trunk by the time the young boy is an old man, the tree is happy.
It was my birthday last week and we took a trip for me that in all actuality was planned for my son. We watched the choo choo trains, went to amusement parks, water parks, and the aquarium. It wasn't exactly how I would have chosen to spend my birthday prior to becoming a mother. However, seeing him that happy and excited everyday made it by far the best birthday of my life. I can relate to the tree. I'm sure you can too.
This book is about giving and although I drew the connection to the way parents give and give to their children, what's more important is the lesson this book gives to our children, which is that it is the act of giving that truly brings joy.
We highly recommend this one as a library staple for all ages. Keep some tissues nearby, just in case 😉.