Review by: Betsy Daley, The Sunday Republican - April 20, 2003
"Arbor Alma" is the Latin version of Shel Silverstein's classic story, "The Giving Tree" (Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers, 414.95, ages 7 and up). You know the story. It's about the young boy and his lifelong relationship to a tree that responds to his every need, examining what it means to give and what it means to receive. "Arbor Alma" adds one more dimension that will give young Latin students an opportunity to build and test their skills.
Review: LaVoz Newspaper - April 3, 2003
The Giving Tree is Shel Silverstein's simple yet profound telling of alifelong relationship between a boy and the tree who responds to the boy's every need. The boy becomes an old man and, from branches to trunk, diminishes the tree's stature with his requests -- or does he? both indeed are transformed, and yet the tree remains happy. This tender tale has invited generations of readers, young and old, to ponder what it means to give and what to receive.
An evocative parable, The Giving Tree is here rendered in exquisite Latin, alanguage whose own simple gRandeur complements that of Silverstein's original story and illustrations. Arbor alma adds one more dimension to the multifaceted classic that is The Giving Tree.
Shell Silverstein (1920-1999), the multitalented poet, author, cartoonist, songwriter, playwright, and musician, was perhaps best known for his beloved children's books - The Giving Tree ('HarperColl9ins 1964), of course, but many others including the record breaking bestsellets Where the Sidewal Ends (HarperCollins 1974) and A Light in the Attic (HarperCollins 1981). His works have appeared in twenty-nine foreign editions, not counting the current Latin edition.
Jennifer Morris Tunberg is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Classics and the Honors Program at the University of Kentucky in Lexington. Her research interests include Latin literature of all periods, ancient, medieval, and more recent times.
Terrence Tunberg is an Associate Professor in the Department of Classics and the Honors Program at the University of Kentucky in Lexington. Interested in the entire Latin tradition, he has researched typologies of prose style in ancient and more recent texts. Every summer in Lexington he conducts seminars in the spoken use of Latin.
Besides The Giving Tree, the Tunbergs have also translated two other children's classics in Latin: Dt. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Chirstmas (Quomodo Invidiosulus nomine Grinchus Christi natalem Abrogaraverit Bolchazy-Carducci 1998) and The Cat in the Hat in Latin: Cattus Petasatus (Bolchazy-Carducci 2000)
Review by: Windy Hunt, Joint Association of Classical Teachers - March 25, 2003
The theme of the story is simple yet thought-provoking. It is about a life-long relationship between a boy and a tree, which happily responds to the boy's needs throughout his life. As the book progresses, the friendship grows as the tree offers climbing adventures, apples, branches to build a house, and his trunk to make a boart. Lastly, as a tired old man, he uses the tree's stump as a seat. Although the boy has dimished the physical stature of the tree with his requests, the tree remains happy in spirit, glad to be of use to the boy he has come to love. It is a tender and evocative parable, which invites readers to think about what it means to give and receive. The Latin in this book has an informal, familiar style. The boy and tree converse, using expressions such as "an age", quaeso" and "vin". There are also some diminutives ('puerulum', naviculam' and 'casualae') which seem to suit the theme of the story. Pupils who have studied Latinfor two sentences such as truncum arboris scandebat' on one page followed gy 'et e ramis sublimibus pendebat' on the other. Each page is accompanied by simple black and white drawings, which carefully depict the Latin meaning. Although there is no colour in the book and, indeed, no page numbers the pupils should enjoy the details in the illustrations. There is a thorough vocabulary at the back of the book.
Readers will appreciate the variety of the Latin language such as various words used to describe happiness or joyful feelings 'amabat', 'laetabatur', gaudebat', 'prae laeitia', 'hilarata', 'ut in ramis lasicias', and g'gaudio plena'. Later in the story, the language becomes more testing and the pages contain more sentences. This will pleasanty test Ablativ Absolutes like 'pomis a puero congestis et alatis, arbor gaudebat' and subjeunctives like 'ut trumcum tuum scandam' and 'cum advenisset puer'. I can thoroghly recommend 'Arbor Alma'. It should prove very useful in a preparatory school for Common Entrance pupils in Latin and also for discussions in P.S.E. and environmental issues after translating.