The simple black and white pencil drawings on each page guide us through the story and the lifespan of the tree and the boy.
The nature of love is gently explored as the tree continues to give, expecting nothing in return – and the boy turned man continues to take. Reactions to this are various, but that is where Shel Silverstein has become the author he is today – by pushing at the boundaries of traditional children’s literature.
Exploring themes of nature and love – or just simply an enjoyable tale – this has become a firm favourite in my book corner.
See below for the animated version of The Giving Tree, 1973, with the voice of Shel Silverstein himself.