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Personal story of stillborn children inspired best-selling children's book 'Love You Forever'

Published: Monday, Sept. 23 2013 1:50 p.m. MDT

The children's book "Love You Forever" has touched the hearts of both young and old ever since author Robert Munsch first published it in 1986. What many fans don't know is how Munsch came up with the beloved phrase.

Illustrated by Sheila McGraw

Robert Munsch's children's book "Love You Forever" has touched the hearts of young and old ever since it was first published in October 1986.

Since then, the picture book has sold more than 15 million copies. It was listed on the New York Times best-selling children's books list in 1994 and continues to sell copies today.

But what many fans don't know is how Munsch first came up with the beloved phrase "I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always, as long as I'm living, my baby you'll be."

On his website, Munsch explains the origin of the song.

"I made that up after my wife and I had two babies born dead. The song was my song to my dead babies. For a long time I had it in my head, and I couldn’t even sing it because every time I tried to sing it I cried. It was very strange having a song in my head that I couldn’t sing," Munsch writes.

The author continues to explain that it wasn't until one day while telling stories at a university that he realized he could possibly write a story around the song he held so dear to his heart.

Munsch recalled a conversation with his publisher who was astonished that the book was selling tremendously well at a retirement home in Arizona.

"In fact, it turned out that parents buy it for grandparents and grandparents buy it for parents and kids buy it for everybody and everybody buys it for kids," Munsch writes.

Munsch recorded himself reading the book "Love You Forever" with his own version of the song. Although he always sings it with a specific tune, on his website Munsch invites readers to make up their own version that can be special to them.

Although the book was published more than a decade ago, Munsch's phrase continues to be shared on social media. The book has its own Facebook page and is shared in many picture quotes on Pinterest.

The author's back story was also recently shared on Reddit and has caused many to respond on Twitter about the sentimental book.

Cole Bearden shared his thoughts in his tweet:

"Reddit has forced me to revisit 'Love You Forever' by Robert Munsch and now I just want to cry, call my mother and tell her I love her."

Email: spetersen@deseretnews.com

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