Robert Munsch’s is a classic baby shower gift and, as I’ve said before, is a book more for parents than for children. Some people find it charming; some people (you will be unsurprised to discover that I fall into this category) find the image of a mother climbing into her grown son’s window to rock him faintly disturbing. But I find myself changing my outlook along with this BabyCenter blogger when she posted the real story behind Munsch’s canonical story of parental love.
Format: Board book (also available as a picture book)
Age: Newborn to 18 months
Author and illustrator: Nancy Tafuri
Publisher: Scholastic Press (published March 2000)
There are certain books that are more beloved by parents than their children. Love You Forever by Robert Munsch is a great example; while this perennial baby shower gift is guaranteed to reduce any new parent — especially any new mother in the throes of postnatal hormones — to a puddle of weepy sobs, it’s a book that parents are frequently more enthusiastic to read than their children are. I Love You, Little One falls into the same category. The sentiment is a lovely one: seven animals each ask, “Do you love me, Mama?” and receive reassuring, lyrical, and ecosystem-appropriate responses (Mama Duck says, “Yes, little one, I love you as the pond loves you, giving you food and places to swim. I love you as the pond loves you, forever and ever and always.”) The illustrations are fairly nice (though the animals are far better drawn than the people) and as the book progresses, the sun travels through the sky and the book ends with a mother putting her child to bed as night falls over a log cabin in the forest. I Love You, Little One is a soothing book that will inspire snuggly feelings at least as much in parents as in their children.