Submitted by Etchi Zaleski of the library–It is dark. Bodies rustle and fidget, finding a comfortable spot. Anxious giggles and authoritative voices whispering, “SHHhhh.” A guitar starts its melodic rhythm, and a light appears. The stage is set and the magic is about to begin.
It’s the unconditional love story of a little boy and a tree, a Shadow Puppet Show based on Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree. Shel Silverstein is a children’s poet and illustrator. His works include Falling Up, Where the Sidewalk Ends, and A Light in the Attic, among others. With simple black and white drawings, and a peculiar, sometimes sardonic perspective on life, Silverstein captures dream-like memories of childhood. In The Giving Tree, Silverstein tells a beautiful love story about total unconditional love. This love brings true happiness to a Tree who gives and gives of herself until nothing is left of her but a stump. Even in this finished state she is fulfilled in the knowing that she has done everything she can to make the Boy happy. From a support-worker perspective, this is clearly the story heard a million times; a woman giving everything until there’s nothing left, and the man still being unsatisfied with it all. From an altruistic perspective, however, Silverstein is a guru. There is a grander purpose for our energies: be completely satisfied and whole by simply giving and loving. The pureness of this message shows that it is irrelevant whether the Tree is female and the Boy is male, the feeling is universal. In these times of woe, it is a bittersweet story to ponder.
Shadow Puppets are made from stiff paper and are manipulated by a puppeteer behind a white screen. A light is projected behind the screen to illuminate the puppets. It is a dreamy, ethereal form of puppetry, soothing and mindful. Please come to the Masset Branch Library on Thursday, October 14 at 7pm to watch The Giving Tree.
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