My Life in Books

Why Edmonton's Beppie has read Shel Silverstein's The Giving Tree more times than she can count

The finalist for the Juno Award for children's album of the year recommends reading this classic picture book.
Beppie is a children's music performer from Edmonton. (Juno Awards, HarperCollins)

The Juno Awards celebrate outstanding achievements in Canadian music. The 2019 awards will air live from London, Ont. on Sunday, March 17, 2019 on CBC Television, CBC Radio and CBCMusic.ca/junos.

CBC Books asked some of the 2019 nominees to share their favourite books.

Beppie (real name Stephanie Nhan) is a Edmonton-based preschool music teacher and children's music performer. Her album Let's Go Bananas is nominated for the Juno for children's album of the year. 

Beppie recommended reading the classic 1964 children's picture book The Giving Tree by American writer and illustrator Shel Silverstein.

"My favourite book is The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. I have read this book more times than I can count. I first read it when I was a child, and now I read it to my children. I appreciate stories that I can read with my children that open up discussions about uncomfortable things. It can become very easy to ignore difficult conversations and topics.

"The Giving Tree does an amazing job of bringing emotions to the surface that could otherwise remain hidden. I love this book because it can really make you reflect on relationships and how we treat others. When I read it I ask my kids, are you the boy or the tree? Or would you choose a different path?

"Shel Silverstein had a way of tackling very deep issues from the pages of children's books. When the pages of the books you read as a child stay with you for your entire life, you know you were reading meaningful and powerful stories."

Watch the video for single Five Little Monkeys by Beppie 

Beppie's comments have been edited for length and clarity.

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