Love You Forever (uh oh)

jstallcup at jstallcup at
Wed Feb 12 17:01:07 EST 2003

well,  i don't want to start a flame war, as this book tends to do
whenever it has been discussed on other lists.  I always tell my students
that it is a very controversial book and of course, they're shocked that
it could be considered controversial... and that usually leads to very
good discussions about how responses to books can vary according to the
readers' background.  The book gives me the creeps, the absolute creeps,
and I have been told that some children who have been sexually abused
have been very disturbed by the book.  But there are always ardent
supporters of the book in class who say that it is a beautiful rendition
of parental love and sacrifice and the cycle of life (ok, so why is the
son always asleep when his mother interacts with him?) and that the kids
that they've read it to just LOVE it.  Hmm.   I can see that I'm about to
start a flame war with myself here!

Sorry.  But one thing that I try to point out to them is that they and
the children they read it to who love it are reacting to it within a very
positive environment, but that won't always be the case with everyone who
reads it...  (I don't know why I react so badly to it, by the way, as I
wasn't abused.  it just makes me shudder when I read it.  And then I cry
too, which is really, really annoying.)

So, even kids might like it if they can attach positive experiences to
it--I always have plenty of testimony that this is the case...

And we talk about the fact the Munsch wrote it after his wife miscarried
a baby (I believe) and how this might explain some of the elements that
some readers see as intensely disturbing...

Oh, and not to get really controversial, but another book that always
comes up is the Giving Tree...


On Wed, 12 Feb 2003 14:08:25 -0600 "Ian W. Riddell"
<iwriddell at> writes:
> >This is very interesting--I also always start my children's 
> literature
> >courses with getting the students to name their favorite childhood 
> books,
> >and I don't think that Blyton has ever come up.   
> >
> >Dahl only comes up very rarely (often, when my students are exposed 
> to
> >Dahl as adults, they're horrified by him.) 
> >
> >I often get the following (authors as well as books, obviously):  
> Judy
> >Blume, Beverly Cleary, Dr. Suess, Where the Wild Things Are, 
> Rainbow Fish
> >(erg), Love You Forever (double bleagh),
> I'm amazed at how many adults love this book and think that children 
> will too. Don't get me wrong, I love Robert Munsch, his "Paper-bag 
> Princess" "Stephanie's Ponytail" and "Thomas' Snowsuit" are some of 
> my favourite books to read and read aloud. Kids adore them. Kids 
> respond less enthusiastically to "Love you forever". I think it's 
> some adults' idea of what kids will like - but it's just too 
> heart-on-the-sleeve for kids to sit still for more than once.
> widdy
> who still can't believe he didn't add "How the Grinch Stole 
> Christmas" at the top of his favourites!
> -- 
> Fairy tales are not true--fairy tales are important, and they are 
> not 
> true, they are more than true. Not because they tell us that dragons 
> exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be defeated.
> G.K. Chesterton
> Ian W. Riddell
> iwriddell at
> --
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