Robert Munsch's Love You Forever
illustrated by Sheila McGraw
Children's book review by Steve Barancik
A children's book about undying, unconditional love
Hardly anyone writes about this book without mentioning tears or crying.
Somehow, Robert Munsch tapped directly into our core, sentimental vein with this classic tale of a mother's undying love for her son.
Mom loves her new baby so much. She rocks him while singing,
I'll love you forever,
I'll like you for always,
As long as I'm living
my baby you'll be.
This sweet, heartfelt refrain repeats, essentially unchanged, no less than eight times during the book. But know now, in advance, that the last two times it repeats, you will dissolve into a puddly mess while trying to keep it together for your child!
How does Munsch work this magic?
He depicts a mom so devoted to her child that, as he grows, she sneaks into his room at night to watch him. If she's sure he's asleep, she takes him into her arms and sings the song.
She does this no matter how ungrateful or ill-behaved he's been. She does this no matter how large he grows. When he leaves home she drives under cover of night - with a ladder - to his new home to do it yet again!
You'll smile; you probably won't laugh. By this time, Munsch has so convinced us of the mother's devotion that her climbing through her son's window hardly seems a stretch.
A young child's security depends on having grown-ups who feel this kind of pure, unconditional love. Reading Love You Forever tells them that that devotion is there and can be counted upon!
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