Here it is:
Wait, wait! you say. I know this book! It can't be the acclaimed, best-selling children's book that's been passed down for decades, can it? Yes, it can. This ode to co-dependency has been around since 1986, and it has sold more than 8 million copies (I found six copies of it in our school library alone). People think it's so sweet, so touching. It's still given out, with a wistful frown-smile and a teary eye, at many a baby shower. Maria Shriver Herself recommends it.You probably love it! You think my heart is baked in a kiln!
That's part of the horror. People refuse to see the evil between the pages. It's the book that cannot be killed! It's like Damien in the first Omen movie, cherub-cheeked and innocent. How can HE be Satan's spawn? Well, I'm here to tell you, before I get decapitated by a plate glass window, that it's true. This book is evil. EVIL!
First off, its theme is Mother Love— and if that doesn't send a chill down your spine, well, come spend a weekend at my house for Thanksgiving.
"Love You Forever" is about a mother and the intense love she has for her son, all through the years. Throughout the different stages of his life, she can be seen rocking him and singing a little lullaby. Sweet? Imagine the following haunting refrain sung in a sing-song voice with echo-effect, scored by John Carpenter synthesizer music)
I'll love you forever,
I'll like you for always,
As long as I'm living
my baby you'll be.
She Won't. Let. Go. She's the Terminator of mothers. Still doubt me? Let's take a look at some of the illustrations, shall we? Here we go:
Mama's creeping in to check in on her little baby boy. This is relatively benign. Notice the hunger in her eyes. What is she going to do, eat him? (Bonus: a friend pointed out that the cat looks dead in almost every picture)
Here, the boy's a man, who has moved away from home, but does that stop Mama? NOOOOO! She drives across town, GETS A LADDER and climbs in the window when he's asleep. I bet she drugged him, too. There's no escape! "As long as you're living, my baby you'll be..." cue tilty camera and crazy clown music.
And now, it's his turn. Mama's old and ill, so he's gonna catch her up and rock her and rock her and rock her and rock her... and eventually embalm her so she can be in that chair rocking FOREVER. And then he'll put on that nightdress. Guaranteed!
The penultimate illustration:I won't spoil the end for you, but just look at the composition: the overhead angle, the light coming through the door. All it needs is a bolt of lightning. THE CYCLE REPEATS ITSELF. Chilling...
The background of the author and the inception of the book has its own... peculiarities, which makes it all the more disturbing. You can find out about them here: http://robertmunsch.com/about. You must buy this book, before the trick-or-treaters arrive. Still not convinced? All right, I'll let the author read it to you in his own voice:
Did that do it for you? Or do you think I'm just a hater? Let me know what you think about the book. All I know is: this is what happens when you read "Love You Forever" to your son at bedtime: