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Love You Forever [Paperback]

Robert Munsch , Sheila McGraw
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2,564 customer reviews)

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100 Children's Books to Read in a Lifetime

Book Description

September 1, 1995 4 and up 780L (What's this?)

A young woman holds her newborn son
And looks at him lovingly.

Softly she sings to him:
"I'll love you forever
I'll like you for always
As long as I'm living
My baby you'll be."

So begins the story that has touched the hearts of millions worldwide. Since publication in l986, Love You Forever has sold more than 15 million copies in paperback and the regular hardcover edition (as well as hundreds of thousands of copies in Spanish and French)

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Editorial Reviews Review

The mother sings to her sleeping baby: "I'll love you forever / I'll love you for always / As long as I'm living / My baby you'll be." She still sings the same song when her baby has turned into a fractious 2-year-old, a slovenly 9-year-old, and then a raucous teen. So far so ordinary--but this is one persistent lady. When her son grows up and leaves home, she takes to driving across town with a ladder on the car roof, climbing through her grown son's window, and rocking the sleeping man in the same way. Then, inevitably, the day comes when she's too old and sick to hold him, and the roles are at last reversed. Each stage is illustrated by one of Sheila McGraw's comic and yet poignant pastels. (Ages 4 to 8) --Richard Farr --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


There are certain books about a parent's unconditional love for a child that are timeless--and this is one of them. (Baltimore's Child 2010-01-20)

One of my all-time favorites. I cry every time I read it.... [The book] is a beautiful script about parenthood, a poignant parable about life and death, a testimony to when the roles of child and parent become blurry. The story reminds you that no matter how grown up you are, you're always someone's child; that no matter how "adult" you are, you're never too old to be loved by your parents. It makes me appreciate even more how my mother still calls me and my brother (despite us being 32- and 22-years-old, respectively) by our childhood nicknames, Pussycat and Tchotchke (Yiddish for "knickknack"). Pigeonholing this as a children's book is like saying "Romeo & Juliet" is merely a cautionary tale about drug abuse. I dare anyone to read this story and not shed at least one tear by the end. It's even more poignant when you learn that Munsch wrote the book as a memorial to two still-born children he and his wife had in 1979 and 1980. (Dana Lenetz Forbes 2010-04-20)

The one book that has the most meaning to me. (David Maloof Boston Globe 2002-09-15)

There is a powerful, age-old resonance to the story, centered on that intangible, steadfast bond between mother and child. (Shelley Fralic National Post 2006-05-15)

No one can read this without the tears falling. (Sharon Owen Madera Tribune 2003-05-08)

The best of Munsch's many storybooks... it'll give you a new song to sing... and maybe a bit of perspective down the road. (Leanne Dohy Calgary Herald 2003-09-25)

The starting point for a first-rate library for your grandchildren... a tender ode to the life cycle of a family. (John Lownsbrough Outlook Magazine 2004-06-00)

Sentimental story that has long been a favorite gift at baby showers. (Karen T.Bilton Bridgewater Courier News 2005-04-26)

This best-selling classic of a parent's enduring love is available in a gift edition: slipcased with a laminated box and a clothbound book. (BookPage 2006-11-00)

A humorous, sentimental page-turner that rarely -- let's say never -- leaves a reader with a dry eye. (Gayle MacDonald Globe and Mail 2005-12-01)

My children and I enjoyed it, night after night, for years... It is a charmer. The simple story touches the heart. (Jeith L. Runyon Louisville Courier-Journal 2005-11-13)

#5 on Instructor's "Teachers Pick the Top 50 Kids Books Ever", chosen by 200 teachers, authors, and children's literature experts. (Instructor 2006-11-01)

Robert Munsch's beloved tale is gentle affirmation of the love a parent feels for her child -- forever. Nurtured by the unconditional love of his parent, a boy grows happily through the stages of childhood to become, in turn, a loving adult. (BookPage 2008-01-04)

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... Should definitely be apart of your child's book collection. ( 2010-07-01)

Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 780L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Firefly Books (September 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0920668372
  • ISBN-13: 978-0920668375
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 7.7 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2,564 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #64 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
260 of 276 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My granddaughter used this in the euology for her mom November 23, 2005
My daughter in law read this to her children from birth. Every night. They are 16 and 18 now. Hurricane Katrina came and in fleeing from the rising water, their mother was killed. We did not get her body back until Nov. 18. All this time we have been searching and grieving. For the memorial service my granddauther wrote the euolgy and started it with "I'll love you forever / I'll love you for always / As long as I'm living / My baby you'll be." My mom read this to me every night etc. And at the end, with everyone crying and hearts breaking, she read "I'll love you forever / I'll love you for always / As long as I'm living / My mommy you'll be." When she went to the flooded house recently she found the book, wet, nasty with mud, but she found the book she treasured to remember her mom.
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412 of 474 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Beautiful, Touching Parable February 3, 2001
This little classic is readily and easily digested by one who has known the true love of a mother. My mother gave me this book during the first Christmas with my new baby daughter in 1992. I had no idea that within the year, my father would be gone, and I would begin to give tender care to my precious little mother who would begin "getting very sick" much like the mother in the book. I cried a bucket of tears as I read it aloud with my wife, mother and father for the very first time. When my mom passed on, it was a tender and precious time at her bedside, and very reminiscent of this tender little book.
Today, my two girls go for it regularly on my shelf at bedtime. They tease me because I can't get through it without crying. Funny to me that they have a very good grasp of allegory and they, unlike some of the book's critics, understand that the scenes with the mother coming to the man's apartment are actually his memories of her love. They understand, as I explain to them that the love poured into the son by his mother, has taught him how to love his new baby daughter at the end.
Love begets love, and this little childrens' parable is a powerful reminder! I highly recommend _Love You Forever_ to anyone who enjoyed a wonderful love with their mother. To others, I'm sorry but you simply won't (and obviously don't) understand. It's not written for you.
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151 of 178 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moving Story about Loving Your Child December 14, 1999
By A Customer
This is a fantastic picture book that is a metaphor for the overwhelming love one feels for their child (no matter what age). For all of those readers who can only read in co-dependent, Oedipal, or Freudian themes into this book, you have missed the entire point and have hearts of stone! The fact is that the author Robert Munsch wrote this book as a tribute to his TWO still-born children and that makes this story even more moving especially if you've lost a child or had a miscarriage. The story is an expression of imagining his kids and what they would have been like and how much he would have loved them their whole lives. I found this to be a very emotional and touching story (and I am not a sentimental woman at all). My 3-year-old, rough and tumble, only-loves-the-outside-and-trucks kind of boy really likes this story and has been requesting it for bedtime almost every night. He especially enjoys the verse that is the theme of the book, "I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always, as long as you're living, my baby you'll be." My son wants to hear us say that to him. And again to all those who wrote and thought that this book was "sick"; face it, you might not have liked how this book was portrayed, but you'll love your kids forever, no matter how old they'll get, and in spite of what they will do throughout the phases of their lives that might frustrate you. In fact, my husband likes this story so much that he plans to get it for his mother for Mother's Day. This is a must-have children's book!
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26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars all-age appropriate June 19, 2002
By Shari
This book was given to me by my mother when I had a house-full of 4 children under the age of 4. I was busy, and set it aside for a day or two, until she said, " Read the book today, then call me." I read it, called her, and was told that she had terminal lung cancer. This book was the only way my mother could tell me how she felt about me. She was never one to be open about her feelings, and I honestly cannot remember her telling me she loved me, until the last 6 months of her life. By then I was over 35, and she started with this book.
I would recommend this book for any age, any gender. The love it speaks of is one we all need to remember, and share with those close to us, even if we have to do it by sharing this book.
Yes, there are a couple of extremes...climbing in her grown son's window?....but the message is one of importance. Read it.
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Will go down as an all-time classic June 27, 2006
"Love You Forever", while a children's book, might perhaps exert the greatest emotional impact on adults, whether or not we are parents. Although many mothers have responded from the maternal perspective, the other obvious perspective is that of any child (i.e. you and me) - boy or girl - and the realization of the profound meaningfulness of unconditional love from one's mother, facilitated by the prospect of being able to return that level of caring in later years. As a man, I tend to imagine myself as the male in the story. Although I do have a 14-yo daughter, for me the most moving aspect, as stated above, is the anticipation (and for many, perhaps the re-enactment) of the passing of one's mother, which I believe many women respond to as well, assuming they also tend to place themselves in the role as child.

I'd like to quote from two pre-2000 Amazon reviews of this book:

"This book is just plain touching. How can a man put into words what only a Mom can understand?"

Again, the irony here, in my opinion, is that men should be exceedingly capable of being moved by this story, whether or not they have children of their own. It may be of interest to examine whether women and men tend to assume differential roles in this story when they read it (e.g., perhaps women react most often as the mother, whereas men respond most commonly as the child).


"I had Robert Munsch on my radio show and interviewed him about the book. The book was written to honor the 2 still births that his wife had in two years. In fact the book is dedicated to these two babies.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Phenomenal Read and Everlasting Relevance
My son enjoys when I read him this book. The illustrations capture and hold his complete attention. The song's repetition throughout gives him something to learn.
Published 2 minutes ago by Harriet
5.0 out of 5 stars ... we read it to them when they were young great
A gift for my children to read to theirs we read it to them when they were young great book
Published 16 hours ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
nice story
Published 17 hours ago by millie
5.0 out of 5 stars If this book doesn't bring you to tears, nothing will
This is simply the best children's book ever written on the subject of unconditional love. I read it to my own children when they were small and will now have the opportunity to do... Read more
Published 1 day ago by Expressed Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
My daughter liked it.
Published 1 day ago by J. S.
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful book.
Still makes my mother cry. Beautiful book.
Published 1 day ago by Alyce F Howe
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 2 days ago by Cheri Helms
4.0 out of 5 stars no problems here
Love the book. The deliver was fast and painless . Thank you
Published 2 days ago by Susan
5.0 out of 5 stars Memory of my mother, my son, and I.
Years back, my grown and married son phoned me at around midnight, New Years eve, to wish me a happy new year as usual.
I had gotten out of bed to talk, as my husband slept. Read more
Published 2 days ago by HI BEAUTIFUL!
5.0 out of 5 stars Awww
tears reading this book. it makes you stop and think, if only for a short time. well be a regular on our list.
Published 3 days ago by Joy WIlcox
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Topic From this Discussion
How can this book be so popular?
It's quite simple--the book is not meant to be taken literally.
Jan 27, 2008 by Borislav Trifonov |  See all 69 posts
How can I delete Multiple Items from my Shopping Cart
I ended up e-mailing Amazon Customer Services and asking this question directly. They confirmed that there is no way for the account holder to delete multiple items from their cart but you can ask them to do it on your behalf. They actioned my request pretty swiftly.

Hope that helps. :)
Aug 26, 2011 by Stephie |  See all 12 posts
Welcome to the Love You Forever forum
I think that's kind of a rude assumption. Lots of people love this book because they see it as a parable about a mother's unending love. About one fourth of the people who have reviewed the book, however, have been disturbed by the literal image of the woman "crawling across the floor"... Read More
Sep 17, 2007 by Kate in Cincinnati |  See all 6 posts
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