I call it the single most divisive children’s book ever written: Love You Forever, written by Robert Munsch and illustrated by Sheila McGraw. I haven’t met a single person who DOESN’T feel strongly about this book. Either it moves you to tears and you love it, or it makes your skin crawl and you detest it (as seems to be the case with several of the commenters on last week’s post about books loved by everyone but you). I myself have been known to JOKE (and, truly I’m just joking here) that "How do you feel about Love You Forever?" should be our make-or-break interview question when we’re hiring children’s booksellers. (And, no, I won’t tell you which response is more likely to get you the gig.)
No matter how you feel about it you can’t deny the fact that this book strikes a genuine chord with people, one way or another. The book’s popularity certainly suggests that a large percentage of the public adores it and sings its praises to others. How else could you explain the fact that its worldwide sales hover somewhere around the 15 MILLION mark, according to Robert Munsch’s website? (15 MILLION!! Incredible!!) More than 7 million copies have been sold in the U.S. alone. When PW compiled a list of the All-Time Bestselling Children’s Books in the U.S., Love You Forever was the fourth bestselling picture book in paperback.
As we draw ever closer to the next Presidential election, and worries mount about another Red States/Blue States deadlock, I say we divide along completely different and much less heady lines here: When it comes to Love You Forever, are you a lover or a hater? (And if you have some thoughts as to why, include those too.)