Story time with Raquel – “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein

I have chosen The Giving Tree this week to prepare for Tu Bishvat, the New Year of the Trees, which takes place next Wednesday. It is a time to focus on nature and the environment, what they provide for us and how we should respect them. With the start of the new blossoming season, it also allows us to think about the positives that we hope and pray will come our way this Spring time.

On the face of it, this book can be seen as a selfless tree, providing all it can for humankind, and perhaps our child taking advantage of it, however, this well known and divisive children’s book can be interpreted in many ways – both positive and negative – and is worth discussing with your child.

I like to think of it as portraying the relationship between a parent and a child – the tree displays the unconditional love that most parental figures show their children. Children ask for many things and parents do their best to provide for the good of the child in order to make them happy (which parents in turn derive benefit from). Although the relationship moves through phases over the passing years, the bond remains throughout and welcoming arms are always open wide offering comfort, even if no other help can be afforded.

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