Children’ Literature: “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein Essay

July 16, 2021 by Essay Writer

Updated: Jul 17th, 2020


Children should be exposed to relevant books in order to inculcate appropriate values in their life. Teachers and parents should play an active role in helping their children to identify the most appropriate literature (Brace, Brockhoff, Sparkes &Tuckey, 2006). Thibault (n.d) posits that children possess diverse experiences and circumstances. By helping children to choose appropriate literature, teachers and parents would also be helping children to overcome their difficult situations, transcend their challenges, teach them to accommodate other people’s viewpoints, and also appreciate and respect their differences.

In order for the teacher/parent to be more effective in helping the children overcome their challenges, they should also be in a position to help children select appropriate literatures. For instance, Shell Silverstein’s book, ‘The Giving Tree’, is a good example of a suitable children Literature. The author uses the relationship between a little boy and a tree to communicate to the children on the theme of giving. The author has outlined the plot tactically in order to make it easy for children to understand the relationship between the boy and the tree. This is a book that children would find very interesting to read and at the same time, it is also very educative.

Main Body

More often than not, children are generally considered to be selfish and always desire everything should go as they wish. Therefore, parents and teachers should use this book to teach their children on the importance of giving. It is important to note that the tree did not tire of giving the boy, even if it meant sacrificing its comfort in order to make its friend the boy happy (Silverstein, 1964). The teacher or parent should read and brainstorm about this book together with the children in order for the children to effectively understand the relationship between the tree and the boy.

The teacher/parent should ask the children to identify the character that inspires them most. Since most children are generally selfish, majority of them are likely to identify the little boy who is receiving everything. The teacher/parent should take this opportunity to teach the children on the importance of giving. As a matter of fact, it is more blessed to receive than to take. Through this process, the teacher/parent will help the children to accommodate others. Subsequently, this accommodation will greatly enhance the children’s social life.


‘The Giving Tree’ is a book that parents and teachers can use to encourage early reading. Jennings (2004) opines that children should be encouraged to read while they are still young. She further emphasizes on the need for parents to guide and motivate children when they are learning to read in the same way that they would assist them when they are learning how to speak. Winch (1993) states that, parents and teachers should encourage children to tell stories. For this reason, the teacher should encourage children to read ‘The Giving Tree’ in order to share the theme of giving with other children. Saxby (1997) explains that children should be exposed to literature with appropriate themes and well defined plots. Good themes will help the children receive appropriate values, while a well outlined plot will help children to comprehend.and follow the literature in a better way. ‘The Giving Tree’ is a good example of a book that has a good theme and plot.

Reference List

Brace, J., Brockhoff, V., Sparkes, N., Tuckey, J. (2006). First Steps: Speaking and listening map of development. (2nd ed.). Port Melbourne, Vic: Rigby.

Jennings, P. (2004). The Reading Bug and how to help your child catch it. Australia: Penguin Books.

Saxby, M. (1997). Books in the life of a child. South Melbourne: Macmillan.

Silverstein, S. (1964). The Giving Tree. New York City: Harper and Row Thibault, M. (n.d.). Children’s Literature promotes understanding. Web.

Winch, G. (1993). Now for a story. Sharing stories with young children. Australia: Phoenix Education.

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