________________ CM . . . . Volume XXIV Number 17 . . . . January 5, 2018


Love You Forever. Pop-Up Edition.

Robert Munsch. Illustrated by Sheila McGraw. Paper Engineering by Bruce Foster.
Richmond Hill, ON: Firefly Books, 2017.
16 pp., hardcover pop up, $29.95.
ISBN 978-1-77085-965-4.

Preschool-grade 3 / Ages 3-8.

Review by Dave Jenkinson.

**½ /4


Love You Forever, which was published some two decades ago, has sold more than 30 million copies, according to a September 17, 2017 CBC webpost. The book's repeating four-line chorus states a sometimes overlooked or forgotten truism, one that resonates with adults, especially mothers, who read the book:

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

      If I am a parent, I will never cease being a parent, regardless of my child's age or my own age [although other aspects of our relationship may change]. And, as the adult son sings to the mother, "As long as I'm living / my Mommy [or in my case, Daddy] you'll be", so my familial title will always be one of my identifiers.

      At a personal level, I have always felt that, although Love You Forever is presented in picture book form, its contents have greater appeal to adults than they do to children. And so, perhaps, this new Pop-Up Edition is an attempt to make the book's contents more attractive to the picture book crowd.

      Bruce Foster's paper engineering includes tabs bearing labels that instruct readers to "LIFT and PUSH" or "PULL", and so the mother rocks her new born child and later her adult son too, the two-year-old tosses his mother's watch into the toilet, and a teenager blows a bubblegum bubble while tossing a baseball into the air. In other cases, a page folds out causing the mother's head to appear over the baby's bed, the mother to rock her nine-year-old back and forth, the mother to slip through her teenage son's bedroom door, or the now adult son to rock his own daughter. The one full true pop-up, the adult son rocking his aged mother, is combined with a pull tab so that the rocking chair stands straight up while pulling the tab will make the pair rock.

      In the book's original design, the text was on one page and an illustration was placed on the facing page. Now, to accommodate the paper engineering, the book's design has been significantly altered. Though none of the text has been lost, frequently it has been broken up in ways that differ from the original. As well, many of the illustrations have been cropped, an adaptation again necessitated by the paper engineering.

      The pop-up version of Love You Forever will probably require an adult mediator when used with the younger end of this edition's audience, especially when it comes to opening the fold-out pages. Certainly, the time youngsters spend "playing" with the hands-on portion of the book will slow down the reading of the text.

      Given the edition's play aspect, the pop-up edition of Love You Forever will more likely be a gift buy as opposed to an institutional purchase.


Dave Jenkinson, CM's editor, lives in Winnipeg, MB.

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