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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fuse 8 n’ Kate: The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

It’s very special episode day today! Kate and I are celebrating our 50th episode (where does the time go?). It seemed fitting that we mark the occasion with an important book. There are so many titles that we still haven’t done that could yield wonderful conversations. As such, it seems fitting that we finally do the most requested book of our podcast. In the course of things I manage to come up with a connection between this and Harold and the Purple Crayon (that I think stands up in court), discuss how this tale may be told in 3rd Tree Perspective, and introduces the world to the medical condition I like to call “Jules Feiffer feet”.

Listen to the whole show here on Soundcloud or download it through iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, or your preferred method of podcast selection.

Source Notes:

– This would be the Shel Silverstein back photo to which we allude.


By the way, you guys absolutely have to check out the Travis Jonker interview with the photographs of Shel Silverstein. Best thing you’ll read all day.

– Here’s my evidence for my apple tree theory. Here we find Harold’s tree.  It provides apples yet isn’t an apple tree per say:


Coincidence? Harold came out in 1955. It’s a single tree in a “forest”. Time goes on and it gets bigger. Then reaches out to another little boy in all that white space. This is my best conspiracy theory ever.

– Dad bod alert. Like I’m one to talk.


– What kind of house do you make from these anyway? But that hope in his eyes. That hope! It just breaks your heart a little.


– Strong old man. And here are the rings of the tree. At last! The flaw in The Giving Tree!


– I wasn’t wrong, by the way. Giving Tree Groot truly exists.


Full credit to artist Isaac Goodart.

– Just a plug. Wild Things: Acts of Mischief in Children’s Literature does indeed contain a two-page spread of quotes from children’s book creators on The Giving Tree. One page Pro. The other one Con.

– Go here if you’d like to read “The Giving Tree at 50: Sadder Than I Remembered”.

– Harper Collins actually collected a lot of Giving Tree tattoos on their Pinterest page here.

– Where was Shel Silverstein born in Chicago? Logan Square. The more you know.

– I highly recommend you read A Boy Named Shel sometime.


Coming soon to a theater near you starring, I kid you not, James Franco.

– Sassy Gay Friend meets The Giving Tree:

– Shel Silverstein reads The Giving Tree:

– Feel free to read Giving Tree Made Horrific here.

– The full text from “If the Boy From The Giving Tree Was Your Boyfriend” can be found here.

– And we didn’t discuss it but long ago I offered a challenge for folks to reillustrate Dr. Seuss titles in the style of other illustrators. This one from illustrator Aaron Zenz was, to my mind, one of the most brilliant:


– Finally, I leave you with Tracy Morgan. As is right.


About Elizabeth Bird

Elizabeth Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.