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Love You Forever

A book by Robert N. Munsch

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A mother's love for her child: A wonderful children's book, For parents.

  • May 5, 2007
  • by
Rating:
+3
Pros: Sweet story of parental love, and the inevitability of growing older.

Cons: I cannot read it without crying. I never actually completely read it to my children.

The Bottom Line: A unique, touching book for anyone who ever loved their parents or loved their children. However, even after ten years, I cannot read this without crying.

Love You Forever, written by Robert Munsch, and Illustrated by Sheila McGraw is the most wonderful children’s book that I have never read, in its entirety, to my young boys. It is a touching, honest look at the circle of life, a glimpse at the inevitable fact that no matter how much a parent and child love each other, the parent will eventually grow old and die. That is simply one of life’s cruel facts. I purchased this book many years ago, when my sons were quite small. I attempted to read it to them several times, but each time, I would start crying mid way through, and be unable to complete the book. Thus, I eventually removed this book from my sons’ bookshelves, and stored it in my closet, instead. I would periodically pick it up, and read it. And cry all over again. Yes, I cried again, as I reviewed the book in preparation for writing this review. Alas, although this book is ostensibly a children’s book, in this household, it is a book that I read privately.

Despite the predictable tears, this is a wonderful story. It is a short story. There are only 14 pages containing text. As you turn to a new page, there will always be a page of text on the left, accompanied by a page of illustration on the right. With each page, we see a boy growing up. First he is a baby, then a child, then an adolescent, finally an adult, with his own baby. We see the child during the daytime, active and full of life; then the next page will show him sound asleep. However, no matter what age he is, his mother has unconditional love for him. The mother will always sneak into the son’s bedroom while he is sleeping, and sing the same rhyme to him:

"I'll love you forever,
I'll like you for always,
As long as I'm living
my baby you'll be."

Finally, in the last couple of pages, the mother is now old and sick, and the adult son visits her, cares for her, and ends up singing the same rhyme to her, with just one word changed:

"I'll love you forever,
I'll like you for always,
As long as I'm living
my Mommy you'll be."

He then sadly goes home, knowing his mother is not doing well. However, he is comforted by his love for his own newborn child, and sings the rhyme to him:

"I'll love you forever,
I'll like you for always,
As long as I'm living
my baby you'll be."

The illustrations in this book are perfect. They have a bit of a soft, water-color look to them, and lean towards pastels and muted colors. There is also a warmth to the scenes, with the yellow, glowing light from lampshades. The illustrations and text both perfectly capture the a boy growing up, and the bond between mother and child. Unlike most children’s books, they capture not only what the child is like while awake, but also while asleep. What parent hasn’t had the experience of lovingly watch their child sleep?

Here is some typical text, to give you an idea of how well the author captures the growing child, at different stages:

"The little boy grew. He grew and he grew and he grew. He grew until he was nine years old. And he never wanted to come in for dinner, he never wanted to take a bath, and when grandma visited he always said bad words. Sometimes his mother wanted to sell him to the zoo!"

The text above is accompanied by a wonderful picture of a lanky boy, walking through the kitchen, leaving muddy footprints, while chewing bubble gum, listening to music through a headset, and carrying a baseball and glove.

My overall reaction to this book: I have never seen a book that was anything like this book. Not even close. It has the appearance of a children's book, but I would recommend it more for mothers than for children. I would be interested in knowing how fathers react to the story. I am not someone who cries very often, in real life, but this book gets me every time. I would recommend reading this book when one is in a bit of a sentimental, sappy kind of mood For a "children's book" with only 14 pages of text, it is anything but light reading!

Overall, I hope I have captured the flavor of this book. It is unique. It is unforgettable. Perhaps someday, I will give a copy of this book to my children or their future spouses, and they could attempt to actually read it, in its entirety to their very own child. Yes, the circle of life continues.


Recommended:
Yes

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More Love You Forever reviews
Quick Tip by . March 08, 2011
posted in The Family Room
This book was a family favorite in my house growing up, although likely for different reasons. What I got from the book was that no matter how messy and troublesome I was I would still be loved, what my mother got out of it was that things could be worse. LOL!
review by . July 07, 2010
Gut-wrenching children's book
This book is beyond emotional.  I dare any mother out there, or any child with an aging parent, to read this story and not have a lump in your throat.  I would recommend this story to just about anyone.  The story begins with a mother and her ornery toddler in what appears to be a suburb in America.  The book begins with the mother taking care of her son through the years.  Every night before bed the mother sneaks into the boy's room and takes him from his bed to rock …
Quick Tip by . March 07, 2011
posted in Sweet on Books
This was one of my favorite books when I was a kid! I cried every single time that I read it!
review by . June 26, 2010
It can be difficult to remember how precious and quick even the most trying moments are when you are experiencing them.   As a mother of an active and challenging young boy, I can attest to how easy it can be to lose sight of the big picture and give in to feeling frustrated.  It is easy to remember how insignificant even the most harrowing tantrums are when I read this book and I know that one day, I will wish that my son was the Kindergartner who leaves his playroom a mess, instead …
Quick Tip by . July 19, 2010
read it to my little brother all the time, he loves it!
Quick Tip by . July 03, 2010
This is sure to make you cry, even as your little one laughs.
Quick Tip by . June 28, 2010
My favorite book when I was younger
Quick Tip by . June 27, 2010
Cute insightful fun uplifting!
Quick Tip by . June 26, 2010
Must have for new moms!
Quick Tip by . June 17, 2010
The only book that captures love, sadness, wonder and happiness all together.
About the reviewer
Diana ()
Ranked #799
Just your basic mother, wife, doctor, email addict. Oh, and I have a bunch of hobbies and enjoy trying new things and meeting new people.
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Details

ISBN-10: 0920668364
ISBN-13: 978-0920668368
Author: Robert N. Munsch
Genre: Children's Books
Publisher: Firefly Books
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