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"Love You Forever"...Is it just me or this book creepy?


mathmarm
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Yeah, exactly what the title says. I find this book creepy. As in...creepy creepy. I mean...attachment is one thing. Possessiveness is another. We read this book the other night and I just don't think this is healthy or funny or touching or whatever it is supposed to be.

 

I mean...why do you have to crawl across the floor to your sons bed. Why are you lifting and rocking your 9 year old and your teenaged kid when they are unaware? Why not just tell your child that you love them while they are awake?

 

Why are you driving across town to your adult childs home, creeping through his window, crawling across the floor and cradling him while he's unconscious?!?! I told Hubby that I didn't like this book at all and he laughed at me, but I'm serious. This book actually baffles my mind and makes me feel creeped out.

 

I think that a story of a mothers enduring love for her child is a wonderful premise, but climbing through your adult childs bedroom window and crawling across their floor because cradling them while they are unaware is outside of the far-reaches of "healthy" and "normal" in my opinion.

 

Am I over reacting or has anyone else felt like this also? I seriously did NOT enjoy this story and I am never reading it again. Is it just me? Am I over reacting?

 

In case you don't know the story, you can watch it read on YouTube

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It's not just you. This book is incredibly creepy. My mother in law gave it to us when my son was small. I read it to him once, and after that I made sure it got lost.

 

Notice that while the man has a baby at the end of the book, there's no wife mentioned. Probably she ran away because she was so creeped out by his mother climbing through their window and getting in bed!

 

Also, toward the end of the book, doesn't the old mother tell him he needs to come visit her because she probably won't live much longer? Maybe if she wasn't so darn creepy he'd visit without having to be ordered to.

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Youngest dd loved pretty much all of Robert Munsch's books. I never actually thought much about it until someone posted how creepy it was here (it seems to come up from time to time). We would laugh at it just like we laughed at all his books, but I never thought it was creepy.

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I think if taken literally it is creepy!!  But I think it's supposed to be metaphorical--that's how I read it.  And when I read it like that I get pretty teary-eyed, like a big baby. 

 

I think it doesn't help that I lost my mother in 2001 so I get emotional on that point.

 

Mostly I hate the part where the mother calls him and tells him that she's sick and dying and he should come see her.  Hello! A good son would know that already!

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My take,

This story isn't meant to be taken literally. It is geared toward engaging children. There is a YouTube with the author narrating that shows that well, imo.

 

To me, it's a message of unconditional love. Even if you're goofy and I say you make me crazy I love you...I love you just like I did when you were a tiny baby.

 

Kids don't always feel lovable and I think this story is silly enough, at least for some kids, to drive home the point of "I'll love you forever".

 

That said, I'm not a fan of the illustrations style-wise. I think the same story with a different set of illustrations might be better received.

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I don't find it creepy but I know plenty of people who do. 

 

My kids loved it when I read it to them when they were little.  And I still tell them every night when they go to bed  "I will love you forever, I will like you for always, and as long as I'm living, my baby you'll be."  They are teens and if I don't say it as some point when they head to bed they get a little indignant.

 

We have also discussed how I won't be climbing in through their bedroom window when they move out.  I fully expect to have a key. :)

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This is a very polarizing book! In my experience, you can divide the world into "people who like Robert Munsch more or less EXCEPT this book" and "People who love this book but hate everything else he ever wrote".

 

Robert Munsch generally has this sort of over-the-top, nobody is THAT crazy sense of humor to his books. Like the kid whose stocks are so dirty that when she washes them, it stinks up the whole river, or the kid who gets pulled over for speeding because her wheelchair is just that fast.

 

In most books it works well. In this one, it falls flat (except for the sort of over naive person who takes it utterly seriously and thus hates all the rest of his work for not being "sweet" enough). Also, it's important to remember that LYF was written after the miscarriage of a wanted baby, so... yeah. Edit: Read link. It's after two stillbirths. That's even more awful.

 

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I really like the book. 😳 I thought it expressed how crazy and endless maternal love can be. Since no sane mom would ever climb through her adult son's window at night it's a way of saying, "I still love you as much, if not more, than when you were little and I could show you I love you by holding you. My love has not diminished even if the ways I express it to you have changed." I'll have to go read that story behind it linked above.

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I like it, but didn't love it.  It's not my favorite Robert Munsch book, that prize might go to Purple, Green and Yellow or Something Good or Where is Gah Ning? or A Promise is a Promise, but I like it.  I don't see the book as a parenting guide, just as a crazy exaggerated view of parental love, that fits in with Robert Munsch's crazy exaggerated views of birthday parties and mud puddles and such.

 

I also like The Giving Tree, but only because I don't see the tree as a hero in that story.  I think it's a great conversation starter for kids about appropriate boundaries, and is better saved for an age when kids are ready for that conversation.  

 

The book that creeps me out is Rainbow Fish.  It's supposed to be a story about sharing, but it's really a story about taking someone who is different and tearing them down until they're just like everyone else.  I mean the fish is giving away body parts, how creepy is that?

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I never found it creepy.  I just took it as hyperbole - an exaggeration of the expression of a mother's unconditional love.  I can't tell you how many times I wish I could have gone back to being able to just cuddle and rock my kids as they got so big and their problems got bigger.  But, then again, physical affection is my primary love language and it just about killed me when my boys no longer wanted hugs. 

 

ETA: But my favorite Robert Munsch book is The Paper Bag Princess.  Makes me laugh every time. 

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This is a very polarizing book!

 

This has been true ever since it's publication. Some love it, some hate it.

 

I distinctly remember when I first read it in the late eighties. A friend handed it to me and said I had to read it, because it was such a great book. I didn't share her opinion. But many do, and that's okay. It's been popular for decades for a reason.

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If you take the time to learn about the author, why and how he writes his books, some of you could perhaps understand it better. Fortunately, my son and I understand hyperbole and we always had a good giggle reading it. Sometimes you have to delve a little deeper below the surface of things; isn't that a part of  learning how to read literature of all types? I wouldn't let a rottweiler babysit my child, either, but I'm able to understand the gist of that book for toddlers, without being repulsed or scared that the dog will do any harm.

 

Did you really mean to suggest that everybody who disagrees with you about this book basically doesn't understand hyperbole?

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If you take the time to learn about the author, why and how he writes his books, some of you could perhaps understand it better. Fortunately, my son and I understand hyperbole and we always had a good giggle reading it. Sometimes you have to delve a little deeper below the surface of things; isn't that a part of  learning how to read literature of all types? I wouldn't let a rottweiler babysit my child, either, but I'm able to understand the gist of that book for toddlers, without being repulsed or scared that the dog will do any harm.

How . . . demeaning.  People can not like a book or the way it was written without being stupid.  Of course we understand hyperbole.  

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I also dislike The Giving Tree and Rainbow Fish.

 

Me too. I think I once read in "Honey for a Child's Heart" or maybe it was a C.S. Lewis quote or something, that books such as these often appeal to adults, but really don't appeal to most children. I never liked The Giving Tree at all. The Rainbow Fish ... I could take it or leave it. My dc never cared for any of these. 

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If you take the time to learn about the author, why and how he writes his books, some of you could perhaps understand it better. Fortunately, my son and I understand hyperbole and we always had a good giggle reading it. Sometimes you have to delve a little deeper below the surface of things; isn't that a part of  learning how to read literature of all types? I wouldn't let a rottweiler babysit my child, either, but I'm able to understand the gist of that book for toddlers, without being repulsed or scared that the dog will do any harm.

 

 

Well, I have learned about the author and I still think it's creepy. I don't think it's a healthy message to be sharing with children, no matter what their age. It isn't healthy behavior, yet it is presented as completely normal. It is a message that does not need to be reinforced. The author could have developed a much healthier story line with which to share the verse that has such personal meaning to him. 

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