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Love You Forever
Love You Forever is a Canadian picture book written by Robert Munsch and published in 1986. It tells the story of the evolving relationship between a boy and his mother.
The book was written after Munsch and his wife had two stillborn babies. They have since become adoptive parents of three.
The story details the cycle of life by chronicling the experiences of a young son and his mother throughout the course of the boy's life, and describing the exasperating behavior exhibited by him throughout his youth. In spite of her occasional aggravation caused by her son's behavior, the mother nonetheless visits his bedroom nightly to cradle him in her arms, and sing a brief lullaby promising to always love him. After her son enters adulthood and leaves home, his elderly mother occasionally sneaks into his bedroom at night to croon her customary lullaby. However she gradually grows old and frail, and her grown son visits his feeble, sickly mother for the final time. At first when he arrived, his mother tried to sing her lullaby to him, but she couldn't finish. He sings an altered rendition of her lullaby in reciprocation of the unconditional love that she had shown him; vowing to always love her as she dies before him. After returning home in a scene implying the death of his mother, he cradles his newborn daughter and sings his mother's signature lullaby for her, implying that the cycle will continue.
It was listed fourth on the 2001 Publishers Weekly All-Time Bestselling Children's Books list for paperbacks at 6,970,000 copies (not including the 1,049,000 hardcover copies). In 2001, Maria Shriver wrote in O, The Oprah Magazine: "I have yet to read this book through without crying. It says so much about the circle of life, youth, parenting, and our responsibility for our parents as we grow older. The message is so simple yet so profound. Love You Forever is a great gift for anyone with a child, or even for your own parents." Based on a 2007 online poll, the National Education Association named the book one of its "Teachers' Top 100 Books for Children."
The book is prominently featured in the Friends episode "The One with the Cake". In the episode, Joey performs a dramatic reading of the book at Emma's first birthday, moving everyone to tears. Inspired by this, Joey later decides to recite the book as a dramatic monologue at an audition.
The book was read by Madeleine Stowe to Tori Barban in the movie The Christmas Hope, the third movie in The Christmas Shoes trilogy.