The Giving Tree is a children's illustrated book, written by Shel Silverstein, and published on in 1964 by Harper & Row. The book was widely acclaimed for dealing with mature themes and conveying a deep moral of sacrifice and unrequited love.
The book revolves around the relationship between a tree and a young boy throughout his life. Initially, the tree and the boy are mutually dependent friends and rely on each other. However, as the years go by, the boy becomes selfish and demands more and more from the tree, with the tree determined to proof its love by giving into the boy's requests. Eventually, the tree is damaged from old age and the burden of meeting the boy's requests over the years.
Though the book was initially presented to Simon & Schuster for publishing, it was rejected due to is sad ending, which was not the outlook the publishing company wanted to convey. The book is the subject of much criticism due to the fact that the boy seems to exploit the tree and behaves in a selfish manner - many have argues that this is not the correct message to portray in a children's book. Nonetheless, the book continues to do well in the present day and has even been shown as a short film I'm Here (2010) directed by Spike Jonze.