How Tragedy and Heartbreak Inspired One of the Most Beloved Children’s Books Ever.

Love You Forever is a popular children’s picture book that has delighted parents and children ever since it was first published in 1986.

If it was ever read to you, it’s easy to imagine being curled up next to your loving parent as they read to you in sweet dulcet tones,

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

In 2001, Publishers Weekly recognized ‘Love You Forever’ as an entry on their All-Time Bestselling Children’s Books list for paperbacks, placing it fourth in the prestigious list.

But… this wonderful feat of children’s literature was actually born out of author Robert Munsch’s intense personal tragedy. And when you find out what happened, it may cause you to tear up just as much as the book itself.

…before “Love You Forever“ was a nursery staple, it was a simple, four-line poem that children’s book author Robert Munsch would sing silently to himself after his wife gave birth to a stillborn baby. It was the second stillbirth the couple had to mourn.
Munsch says the song was too painful to sing out loud. For a long time, he couldn’t even share it with his wife.
“[The song] was my way of crying,” Munsch told The Huffington Post.

After the second stillbirth, doctors told the couple that they would never be able to conceive — news that devastated Munsch, who had worked in orphanages, received a master’s degree in Child Studies, and dedicated his life to writing children’s books.
“You know when someone walks up to you and gives you a sucker punch right in the solar plexus? [It felt] like that,” Munsch told HuffPost.
The couple went on to adopt three children, but Munsch used his song as a way to grieve their two previous losses. He would sing it to himself like a silent lullaby, never writing it down or saying it out loud.
Then, one day, a story popped into his head.
“My stories,” Munsch told HuffPost, usually “come gradually through storytelling. This one came all of a sudden.”

Munsch often performed his material in front of crowds before writing anything down. One day, the song was in the back of his mind while he was performing at a theater. He made up a story to accompany the song on the spot, and just like that, “Love You Forever” poured out on stage.

Go to The Huffington Post to read the rest of the article.


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