A Parent’s Guide to The Giving Tree (Book)

WARNING: Reading this article may give away things in the story ranging from unimportant to plot turners.

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

Type: Children’s Book, Picture Book

Basic Plot: The tree and her boy have always played together when he was little, but as the boy grows up and desires to explore the world, where does that leave his childhood playmate?


Plot: 4½/5 Well Done: The plot is beautiful and heartwarming. It is a sweet story that many people can relate to, often as both the tree and the boy. It progresses through the characters lives, showing how people change and at the same time, how people stay the same.

Graphics: 3/5 Average: The graphics are cute, though admittedly, a little strange and not proportional. That, in a way though, adds to its charm.

Moral: 3/5 A Good Moral: The moral of the story is unconditional love. The tree supports and loves the boy through childhood, and even as he becomes an adult, changing and leaving her, she accepts this and helps him achieve his dreams. Though some could reasonably take this as the tree being taken advantage of, I think it is more a picture of the unwavering love we ought to give others. Though, it is true that we don’t have to support people in all they do, the love that inspires that giving and supporting is admirable.

Overall: 4/5 Well Done: It’s a beautiful, sweet story on love and support that I would read to my children. Some children may not like its bittersweet undertones, but those that do can join with adults in cherishing it’s simple message.

Moral Content

Sexual and Inappropriate Content: 0/5 None

Violence: 0/5 None

Swearing and Using the Lord’s Name in Vain: 0/5 None

Emotional, Intense, and Disturbing Content: 0/5 None

Religious Issues: 0/5 None

Magic: 0/5 None

Others: None

Overall: ½/5 All Ages Appropriate: I don’t believe there is anything objectionable in the book for anybody of any age, though it does overall have a bittersweet tone to it that some children may not like.


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