Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein



Seeing the last two reviews that my friends, Meera and Tharini have written celebrating two great authors - Margaret Wise Brown and Eric Carle, I am certainly motivated to write about another great author from the 20th century children's literature - Shel Silverstein.

The author and his creations are definitely out-of-the-box. Shel Silverstein is known for his books on funny poetry or giggle poetry as my daughter would call(we love making rhymes that sound funny - thanks to hours of listening to Raffi in the car!) The Giving Tree is a different kind of story. It is a moving story about the love a tree has for a little boy. The tree gives all it has to a little boy who simply manages to extract every little thing he can from the tree. You might end up tearing up at the end of the story.

The Giving Tree provides morals and lessons for readers of all ages at different levels. This book offers a deep environmental message -"You can be friends with a tree - but please give unselfish/unconditional love to nature "unlike" the little boy in the story!"

In our family, whenever we read "The Giving Tree" during bedtime, we make sure we sing this Tree song, which my older daughter loves!The tree song is a hit in our family and more or less of a family song now - My husband loves joining in, and we have sung it together so many times with our older daughter - one of the first songs she learned to sing by herself - I think she was two then - even before she learned her nursery rhymes!

It's by Mr.Rogers from Rogers' Neighborhood - a show on PBSKids PBS(public broadcasting service)!

Tree,Tree,Tree
Tree,Tree,Tree
Tree,Tree,Tree
Tree,Tree,Tree

We love you!
Yes,We do!
Yes,We do!
We love you!

Tree,Tree,Tree
Tree,Tree,Tree
Tree,Tree,Tree
Tree,Tree,Tree

(I have never "typed" so many trees in a row...that felt good - ( "planting" lots and lots of trees must feel even better, right?) This reminds me of a true environmentalist - the Kenyan Tree Woman - Mrs.Maathai who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her environmental work..Bravo!)

Find more about Mr.Roger's Neighborhood - one of the first shows I let my daughter watch on TV when she was close to two, aside from Sesame Street. I too enjoyed watching the show with her.

Here's the link Tree,Tree,Tree..Do listen to the Tree song with your kids, wherever you are in the world -
Tree,Tree,Tree

Thanks, and that's all for this week!! I am traveling the next couple of weeks, but I am sure will be tuning in from my travel destinations...

Meanwhile, a very happy new year to you all!

8 comments:

Tharini said...

I'm definitely getting this book for Akhil the next time. Loved the tree song. So easy to learn. :)

Have a fun filled time away!

meera sriram said...

I pulled out the Tree song for my toddler girl, this evening, adding that trees were very important things (while listing the benefits of trees). After wrapping up a duet with me, she moved on to similar versions - "waters waters waters" followed by "light light light" while I sat there giggling but totally impressed! Thanks for the song, Praba.

eisha said...

Thank you! You know, a lot of adults are down on this story because they think it sets up a dysfunctional, codependent relationship as normal and healthy. But I always thought it was more like you said - a lesson in how NOT to treat a person, or a tree, or nature in general...

And I love the Tree Song. I may use that in my library storytime!

Annie Donwerth Chikamatsu said...

I love trees, too, and this book has always been a favorite. Twenty-five years ago I previewed this movie with a colleague before showing it to our university intensive English students. Our thought was to have them discuss it.
My colleague asked me what I thought. She saw it as the nature of the relationship of a child and his mother/parent. A parent always giving, giving. The child taking. I was blown away by that. I was young and not a mother at the time. I sort of saw what she meant. A lot of our students interpreted it that way too. annie

Praba said...

Very interesting and meaningful thoughts you guys have mentioned here about The Giving Tree. Whenever we read the book, I would tell my daughter as a "don't be selfish like the little boy. we all should be like the tree - giving/sharing with your friends will make you happy." ...

But I have always wondered - one can't be overly giving too - remember when the tree became a stump, the author uses the words "She was happy but not really" always stopped there and wondered what he actually meant -

I guess one can't give all the time like the tree, and stay happy too...And one can't take all the time like the boy and stay happy...If we have a balanced approach of giving and taking depending on the situation, try to achieve the middleground, that should make us happy, isn't it? But that's a big challenge for anyone...that's my interpretation..

Thanks for leaving your comments here. Appreciate it!

Praba said...

Annie -

The mother/child interpretation is amazing indeed...Never thought of it like that! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Hope you got my email about the amazon link.

thanks!

Praba

Annie Donwerth Chikamatsu said...

Yes, praba, I did get the link. I thought I had responded to the e-mail you sent! Thanks for asking about it. I'm finding lately that the things I send out ping around in cyberspace for a while. Some never show up. Then others show up double. Thanks for sending the link.
annie

Asha said...

Hey Praba, just wanted to say have a great vacation and thank you for your wishes:))

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