Written in 1986, Munsch’s iconic Love You Forever, a children’s story about a mother’s unconditional love for her son and the circle of life, has sold 15 million copies worldwide. I remember reading it often to my little boy, who grew and grew and grew and is now a great big teenager, just like the little boy in Munsch’s story. I also remember not being able to get through the book without crying, much to the bemusement of my little guy. A universal story of enduring love, it resonates with many people at all stages of the parenting journey, from grandparents to newly expecting parents-to-be. It’s no wonder it’s often the first book people think of for Mother’s Day.
However, as much as I love Love You Forever, there are also many other beautiful picture books about motherhood that recognize its breadth, depth, diversity and uniqueness. Here are some books to share with your family this Mother’s Day that I enjoy and think you will too!
All Moms, by Sarah Kate Ellis and Kristen Ellis-Henderson — This inclusive book was created recently in partnership with GLAAD, (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation). Its rhyming text and colourful pictures show all the different things moms can do, and how all moms love their children and want to help them grow strong.
The Invisible String, by Patrice Karst — I bought this comforting book last year for my little nephew whose mother died suddenly and unexpectedly. It was a difficult, confusing time, but I wanted him to understand his mother’s love would always be with him. I include it on this list because many children, like my nephew, are unable to celebrate Mother’s Day with their moms for many reasons: divorce, deployment, death. This book reassures children we are always connected to the ones we love no matter where they are.
The Katha Chest, by Radhiah Chowdhury — This vibrantly illustrated book celebrates the stories and the strength of the women in young Asiya’s family as she explores her Nanu’s chest of kathas, quilts made from saris the women no longer wear. An inspiring tale of culture and family history stitched together with love.
Wherever You Are: My Love Will Find You, by Nancy Tillman — This heartfelt book is a love poem from a parent to a child, a poignant reminder that they will always be loved. Have a tissue nearby when reading this one as it will likely make you teary too!
Who’s Your Real Mom?, by Bernadette Green and Anna Zobel — This story about a little girl who responds with increasingly outlandish answers to prying questions about her ‘real mother’ is humorously told, but will help kids understand that motherhood goes beyond biology.
Wherever you are this Mother’s Day, I hope you celebrate all the mother figures in your life who love, nurture and guide you. Happy Mother’s Day, everyone!
- Robert Munsch’s website, https://robertmunsch.com/book/love-you-forever