Books & Music

The True Story Behind Iconic Children’s Book ‘Love You Forever’ Will Break Your Heart

As if this book didn't make parents cry already...

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Most of us have read the iconic children’s book “Love You Forever” by Robert Munsch. Love it or hate it, it’s a book that most of us either grew up with or read to our children.

But do you know the heartbreaking and beautiful true story behind the story?

Writing The Book Helped The Author Grieve

Munsch, a children’s book author, came up with the book’s most famous lines (“I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always, as long as I’m living, my baby you’ll be”) as a way to privately grieve the loss of two of his children.

love u

His wife delivered two stillborn babies within a short succession, and the overwhelming sorrow felt unbearable to Munsch.

As a way to cope with his feelings, he created this private poem that he would say aloud to himself, saying that it was his “way of crying.”




The story of the book is heartwrenching enough: A mother watches her son grow from infancy until he becomes a father himself. Meanwhile, she grows old and frail, and the roles reverse as he cares for her the way she once did for him.

But the backstory behind its creation makes it even more powerful.

Parents Can’t Seem To Read This One With Dry Eyes!

It’s a beautiful tribute to the two children that Munsch and his wife lost, and it’s a refrain that has made parents everywhere cry as they read it to their children.

Take a look on social media, and a good number of the posts about the book also mention tearing up.

There is no loss on this earth like losing one’s child. But by putting his grief to paper, Munsch has been able to bring comfort and peace to so many parents and children. Indeed, many people have chosen “Love You Forever” to read aloud at funerals, and some have even chosen to bury their parents with their beloved copies of the book.

This Instagram user, @thirtytwoandthree, shared how the book has played an important role in her and her husband’s journey to become parents, which included various infertility issues:

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April is always a month that brings back so many memories for us. In 2013, April was the month we found out we were pregnant with the trio 💕 After 7 failed IUIs, several surgeries, tons of testing, 2 miscarriages and IVF, April was the month we began to get some wonderful news! 👶👶👶 April 2012 started a similar way. After 1.5 years of trying to conceive naturally with no luck, we did our first IUI and became pregnant. Nothing could break that instant love and excitement. I believed that we had gone through enough emotionally and that we wouldn’t be the couple that would need a lot of fertility intervention. This was it. Our IUI worked and in 9 months we would have our baby. I ran out to the store and bought this Robert Munsch, book which was one of my favourite as a little girl and wrote a message to David, and placed it on his pillow for when he came home. Unfortunately we never got to meet this little one and this book still stays in our bedside table 7 years later. Typically I don’t share stories like this however the amount of women that reach out to me on a weekly basis has shown me that it’s time to break the stigma and silence around infertility and losses. It always feels better to get good news but bad news is sometimes part of the journey. You don’t have to feel it alone. Find your tribe. Big or small. Lean on them. #tripletparents #momblog #mom #infertility #ivfjourney #ivfsuccess #rainbowbaby #parenthood #pregnancy #stigmafree #oneinfour #facesoffertility #family #robertmunsch #miscarriage #endowarriors #iui #iuijourney #infertilityawareness #findyourtribe #motherhood #momstrong #mommyhood #daddy #breakthestigma #mommybloggers #infantlossawareness #pregnancyjourney #infertilitywarrior #infertilityblogger

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Clearly, Munsch’s story has become something incredibly meaningful to the lives of many. As Firefly Books said of the book on Instagram, “Firefly Books first published this tearjerker in 1986, and it has sold over 32 million copies worldwide. It now comes in a pop-up and board book version – all of which are guaranteed to make you cry.”

RELATED: Here’s A Look At The Fascinating History Of Little Golden Books

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It’s Children’s Book Week again & we’ll be celebrating all week by sharing some of our favourite reader posts from the past year. Thank you to everyone who shared their love of reading with the little ones in their lives. You are the superheroes all kids need! First up is Robert Munsch’s classic picture book Love You Forever, shared by @megsmomlife. Firefly Books first published this tearjerker in 1986, and it has sold over 32 million copies worldwide. It now comes in a pop-up and board book version – all of which are guaranteed to make you cry. 😉 . . . . #loveyouforever #loveyouforeverbook #robertmunsch #childrensbookweek #childrensbook #childrensbooks #childrensbookstagram #kidsbook #kidsbooks #kidsbookswelove #kidsbookstagram #picturebook #picturebooks #picturebookillustration #kidlit #kidlitart #forkids #littlebookworm #shelfie #books #bookstagram #bookshelf #bookworm #booklover #bookphotography #booklovers #booklove

A post shared by Firefly Books (@firefly.books) on

Perhaps the reason why the book has become such a touchstone for so many people is not just because of Munsch’s talent, but because the lines came from such an honest place — a place of beauty, pain and deep, enduring love.

No wonder it has become a fixture in so many people’s nurseries!


What about you? Do you have any special memories of this classic book?

[h/t: Huffington Post]