on 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.
on 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.
on January 9, 2015
I have had this book for many years and my wife would read this book to my first born. She would cry as she was reading and singing this story to him as he was looking up at her. Here recently I wrote my own book "Always Be My Little Boy," not thinking about some of the similarities it had along with it. Love You Forever is a very touching and moving book. Well worth it.
on December 14, 1999
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!
on September 22, 2015
If you have a sensitive child and a wicked sense of humor (like me), you may want to get your laughter out before sharing this book with your child. I'd seen "Love You Forever" touted as a classic throughout my life but had never read it myself. I finally picked up a used copy and read it to my son. I failed to pre-read and was reduced to hysterical laughter upon watching a gray-haired mother strap a giant ladder to the top of her car, drive across town in the middle of the night, climb through her adult son's second story bedroom window, and rock him in her lap as he slept like a toddler on her shoulder. There were tears streaming down my cheeks. My son was hurt because he, at five-years-old, loved the comforting idea that I'd always be around to rock him in his bed (even if it means breaking and entering). Still nursing his little bruised heart, I then finished off the story with the mother on her death bed. Whew. It was a very tumultuous ride. To me, the book is overwrought and saccharine. That said, my son loves this book. I'll split the difference and round up. ;)
on June 19, 2002
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.
on February 10, 2002
I never found this book "creepy," and neither did my son, to whom I first read it when he was about 2 years old. He loved it then...he missed the message, but adored the thought of his mommy rocking him in her lap forever and ever.
For those who insist on finding hidden agendas in every book on earth, and who must put a political twist on every simple thing, may I offer a suggestion? Give your child a warm bath, dress him in his jammies, and take him and his blankie or bear onto your lap. Hold him close and rock him while you read this book. I guarantee you, the message he'll get is that your love is utterly secure, unbreakable, and forever. Is that bad?
My son went through all the stages depicted in the book, predictably and not without angst for his mother! Now he is 16, he towers over me, he has dredlocks (don't ask) and a deep voice. Yesterday, apropos of nothing, he said, "Mom, remember that book you used to read to me about the mother rocking the son? I just want you to know when you are old like that, I will come and rock YOU, just like the book." And he gave me an awkward half-man, half-boy hug.
Is that "creepy"? If it is, that's just the type of creepiness we need more of in this world. Children need to believe that they are loved no matter what they do and how "horrible" they get. This book says that in the most beautiful way. I'm glad I read it to him then, I'm glad I have it now, and I insist on taking it for what it is, a thoroughly beautiful and wonderful book.
on June 12, 2000
This is another one of those books I can't read without having to dab at my eyes. Any loving parent, or child of a loving parent, will recognize the overwhelming love the mother in this story feels for her son. When her son is a newborn, she rocks him and 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." When he's asleep, she rocks him and sings him that song through each stage of his childhood. When he's a grown man with his own home, she drives over to his house with a ladder, makes sure he is fast asleep, climbs through his bedroom window, then rocks him and sings to him (my husband thinks this is a little strange, but I'm convinced that there are plenty of mothers out there who would do the same if they thought they could get away with it).
The tears come when the mother gets sick, and can't finish the song. Her son then holds her in his lap, rocks her, and sings to her. Then he goes home, picks up his newborn daughter, and sings. The illustrations are a beautiful complement to the story. Not only does the son grow up, but the mother slowly grows older. Her house keeps its old-fashioned look, even down to the rotary phone on her bedside; his house is more modern, with up-to-date kitchen appliances. The mother has a striped cat that appears in several illustrations of the boy growing up. In his house, there is a kitten, that grows into a cat, that turns into a rather large, well-fed cat by the end of the story.
Not only am I sharing this book with my kids, but I gave my mom a copy for Mother's Day.
on December 14, 2013
I apologize in advance if I step on any toes. I want this review to be as accurate as possible, as this book seem to be an object of controversy amongst the readers, who either love or hate the story. I have seen this book many times but never read it until today as I thought, by looking at the front cover, that it was a potty book.
I wanted to buy this book, along with the French version, as a Christmas present for my children, ages 2, 10 and 15. I read a lot of reviews amongst the 5 stars and the 1 star reviews that were given, to try to get an idea of the book and what other parents and children thought of it. It made me even more confused about buying "Love you forever ".
I then looked on Youtube and saw that you can actually listen to Robert Munsch read the story out loud. If you can get passed the fact that he does a horrible job narrating the story, you might be able to listen to the full 6 minutes of it... I sat down with my children, and we listened to the story while looking at pictures of the book that were shown at the same time.
It didn't hold my 2 year old's attention for more than a couple of minutes. On the other hand, my other 2 kids listened to the whole story. At the end, I asked them what they thought of the story. They said that "it was a very sweet story about a mom who loves her son very much, but it was weird that she climbs through his window when he is a grown man and creepy that she would rock him while he is asleep". In all honesty, I asked them to rate the book between 1 and 5 stars. They both gave the book 5 stars because they thought it was a sweet story.
As I was going to put the books in my cart, they both proceeded to burst in tears because they were sad that the mom had died. I then explained to them how I understood the book. My version was pretty similar to theirs: it is a story about a mom who loves her child very much, and sees him as "her" baby no matter how old he is ( not necessarily "a" baby) . I explained to them that the mom crawling through her son's window and rocking him were a bit exaggerated, but it shows the reader what a mom would do to let her child know how much she loves him. Now the son is a Dad, and he will love his daughter just as much as his mom loved him. We also talked about life and death, and I reassured them that they would always be my babies and that I would be their mom for a long, long time.
As a conclusion, I will not be buying "Love you forever" as my kids won't enjoy reading it or having it read to them. They like the idea of how much the mom loves her son but the sweetness of the story gets lost when the adult son loses his mom.
I would not give this book as a present to a new mom or to a child, no matter how old the child is. I think it is a matter of personal preferences whether you decide to buy this book for your child. I wouldn't take a chance of buying it as a present for anyone else than my own child, as some parents might be offended by how the bond between the mom and her son is being described throughout the whole story.
I wanted this review to be as honest as possible and I felt that having children that fit in the age category of the child portrayed in the book made this review more accurate since their opinion is as important than mine, if not more.
on 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. When I asked him about the mother going across town with a ladder to see her son, he explained that it should not be taken literally but rather figuratively that a mother will always be there for love WHENEVER! Mr Munsch read the book on the air and we had a bank of 5 callers waiting to talk to him. None of them could because they were all in tears."
This tends to answer two questions. First, and quite presumably, the book was written primarily with the perspective of the mother in mind. Nevertheless, there can be no doubt as to the dual basis or motivation underlying Munsch's desire to write and publish this piece. Surely he was responding to emotions in the context of his relationship with his mother as well. Second, Munsch addresses the critical discrepancy between literal and figurative. In my opinion, the few negative reviews of this little book (note also the oddity that >80% of reviews are 5-star, <20% are 1-star, with essentially nothing in between) failed to appreciate this important nuance.