The Giving Tree
Recommended reading ages: 4-6 years
Lexile measure: 530L
Why we recommended
With simple vocabulary, sentence structure and plot, young readers will find it easy to understand and enjoy Silverstein’s tale. The story is also accompanied by drawings on every page that help to convey the story and keep young readers’ interest.
The book also opens up a valuable discussion about generosity versus greediness. While younger children often enjoy the book as a sweet tale of selfless love, older readers can use their critical thinking skills to consider whether they believe the tree is right to give away all it has to the boy, and whether the boy takes the tree’s generosity for granted. Readers can also reflect on the different desires the boy has as he grows older and asks the tree for money, a house, a boat, and other material wants, and discuss which of these they think is most important. In this way The Giving Tree is appropriate both for a wide range of ages and can challenge readers to reflect on right and wrong in relationships with family and friends.
Questions and activities for readers
Adapted from The Prindle Institute