The Giving Tree.
"Once there was a little tree ... and she loved a little boy": Rare First Edition of The Giving Tree; Inscribed by Shel Silverstein
The Giving Tree.
Item Number: 117673
New York: Harper & Row Publishers, 1964.
First edition with all the first issue points to both the book and dust jacket. Octavo, original illustrated boards. Presentation copy, inscribed by the author on the half-title page, “For Betsey- With Love Shel Silverstein.” Very good in a very good price-clipped first-issue dust jacket with the full torso picture of Shel Silverstein, with hair, covering top left half of back of the dust jacket, three reviews of Lafcadio, by Kirkus. The New York Times and Publisher’s Weekly. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. One of the rarest modern children’s book, exceptionally scarce in this condition and signed.
One of the most widely interpreted and best-selling children's books of all time, The Giving Tree has sold over ten million copies since its first appearance in 1964. The book has been described as "one of the most divisive books in children's literature" for the various interpretations inspired by the relationship between the selfless female giving tree and the human boy who benefits from her gifts as he grows through adulthood into old age. Throughout the picture book, the boy benefits at all stages of life from the tree's gifts with little regard for the tree's well-being in return. This relationship has been interpreted as a representation of the relationship between man and nature, mother and child, and as the "Christian ideal of unconditional love" (Leonard, 2005).