real life

The heartbreaking story behind iconic book 'Love you forever'.

“I’ll love you forever,
I’ll like you for always,
as long as I’m living
my baby you’ll be.”

For author Robert Munsch, his iconic children’s book, “Love you forever”, started as a song.

For some readers, it’s a song, too. Or a poem. Or they read it as a story. That’s the beauty behind the book.

It’s a bestseller, has been named a Teachers’ Top 100 by the National Education Association and has sold over 15 million copies worldwide.

Universally, it’s stood the test of time as a tale of an unconditional and enduring type of love known only to a relationship between a mother and a child.

A heartwarming set of prose that has been spoken and read across the world. (Post continues after video.)

But what many don’t know is that the author’s tragic private circumstances led to the publication of the book.

Initially revealed back in 2006 but recently trending on social media, Munsch has explained on his website that the book was penned in sadness for his wife, Ann, who had two stillbirths.

Munsch wrote:

“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.”

The book grew from a children’s book to one that adults buy for adults and grandparents buy for grandparents.

To quote Munsch, “Everybody buys it for everybody”.

This week, as part of Never Forgotten: Mamamia’s Pregnancy Loss Awareness Week we’re remembering the babies we’ve lost. Post continues below.

Inclusive as it may be, and a universal love we may know, Munsch does acknowledge that despite the book coming from the most tragic of circumstances and to a certain tune in his head, that is just one take on the story.


“The way I sing it in the story is just MY version. You are supposed to make up your own.”

You can read his full post here.

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