The Sad Story Behind Controversial Kid’s Book “Love You Forever”

posted: 01/14/16
by: Courtney Reimer

The children's book Love You Forever has long been controversial for its depiction of a very close, lifelong relationship between a mother and her son, but a viral blog post of the author explaining the inspiration for the story is bringing a new perspective to the tale.

It's parent-child relationship told from birth, far into adulthood, with the mother often sneaking into her son's room to remind him of her love at various stages of his life.

The story is propelled by the constant refrain: "I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always, as long as I'm living my baby you'll be."

Apparently, the story came about after Munsch and his wife lost two babies at birth. On his website, Munsch described how those words first came to him:

I made that up after my wife and I had two babies born dead. The song was my song to my dead babies. For a long time I had it in my head and I couldn't even sing it because every time I tried to sing it I cried. It was very strange having a song in my head that I couldn't sing.
For a long time it was just a song but one day, while telling stories at a big theatre at the University of Guelph, it occurred to me that I might be able to make a story around the song.
Out popped Love You Forever, pretty much the way it is in the book.

Love You Forever is among the best-selling children's books of all time, and has been named to all kinds of prestigious children's book lists (such as the National Education Association's Top 100). Chances are you've either given or received the book at some point -- or both. And now you will never read it the same way.