Reading/Interest Level: Preschool, Primary, Intermediate
Author: Shel Silverstein
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
This poetic book begins with a young boy always playing with a tree and making it happy. As the boy grows older, he visits the tree less often, but always comes back. The tree is delighted to see the boy when he comes and always gives something to the boy to help him be happy. The boy continually takes things from the tree such as its apples, branches, and trunk to be prosperous in life. The boy comes back as an old man and the tree is sad because he has nothing left he can give to the boy. The boy, now old, doesn’t want anything but a place to sit down. Looking for a way to make the boy happy, the tree gives the boy one last thing, a place to sit on its stump.
The tree is a symbol of charity. It constantly gives to the boy and has an unconditional love for him. He's always willing to give to the boy until he has nothing left to offer but a stump to sit on. The tree is happy when he can serve the boy. The boy is a symbol of pride, always taking from the tree. He is unaware of the sacrifices the tree makes for him.
The illustrations are outlined in black and white, allowing the reader to add color with their imagination and determine the mood of the book. The reader can interpret what the characters are feeling on their own.