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 with a large Drawing

The Giving Tree.


Item Number: 139491

New York: Harper & Row Publishers, 1964.

First edition, early printing of this classic work. Octavo, original illustrated boards. Presentation copy, inscribed by the author over two pages with a large drawing of a stump and leaves, “For Barbara and for Mike Mary Teresa and John Because my friend Ralph loves you very much my love too Shel Silverstein.” Fine in a near fine dust jacket. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box made by the Harcourt Bindery. Exceptionally scarce in this condition and signed; a unique example.

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).

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