Sunday, May 12, 2013

Revisiting a tearjerker on Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day! In keeping with the theme of today, I thought of Robert Munsch's Love You Forever.
This is one children’s book I noticed sold almost 400,000 copies in paperback in 2012 according to Publisher’s Weekly. (See here.) I am absolutely positive its continued popularity isn’t due to kids, but to the effect this PB has on parents and/or grandparents. When my children were young, they would select Love You Forever as a bedtime story specifically to see Mom bawl because I could not read it to them without breaking down. No other read aloud ever had that affect on me, but even now just thinking of it I tear up. My copy has long since disappeared as my kids are tweens and teens now, but I imagine non-parents might be baffled at my reaction as I recall the simplicity of the words. In fact, the repetitive nature of the story, while common to PB’s, might annoy some adults. The killer here is the poignant love of a mother for her child being returned in full by the child as mom grows old and dependent, and for me the repetition emphasizes the strength of that love in a gut-wrenching way. If you have young children and haven’t read it, put Love You Forever on your read aloud list, but have the tissues handy.
Want to check it out? See here.

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