I read a book with Donald pretty much every weeknight before I tuck him into bed. He brings home some pretty good ones from the school library, but this one by Shel Silverstein left me dumbstruck. I thought I was reading Chekhov! Turns out this is a well-known and somewhat controversial book and critics have tried to fit the relationship between the boy and the tree into any number of familiar constructs, but to me the tree wasn't that important at all. To me it was a story of a man who thinks money and things will make him happy, and that owning a house and having a family will make him happy, and that sailing around the world will make him happy, but none of it does. In the end, he realizes that he is not happy at all, only exhausted, and all he wants is a stump to sit on. Funny, I'm 43 and there are many days when all I want for myself is a stump to sit on.
Not a children's book at all, but anyone who has been beaten down and broken by life for several decades will love it. One of the most wonderful things I've ever read!