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  • Today is the anniversary of Shel Silverstein's birth in 1930. He died in 1999.

    When I was an elementary school teacher in the 1970s, I always included his book "The Giving Tree," written and illustrated by Silverstein, as one of our basic readings in Social Studies. I used it especially to generate conversation about what the kids saw in the story.

    It begins with the relationship a boy and a tree. It ends with an old man that once was the boy sitting on the stump that was once was the tree.

    Here's what Amazon writes about it:

    "'Once there was a tree . . . and she loved a little boy.' So begins a story of unforgettable perception....

    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. But as the boy grew older he began to want more from the tree, and the tree gave and gave.

    This is a tender story, touched with sadness, aglow with consolation. Shel Silverstein has created a moving parable for readers of all ages..." about what it means to truly experience the gift of giving. And about a serene acceptance of whatever love does or does not come back in return.

    Thank you, Mr. Silverstein!


    [Image from Wikipedia via Fair Use of a low resolution image of the cover.]
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