Written: Aug 25, 2010
a Very Helpful Review
by the Epinions community
Pros:Touching, great message, wonderful story, a classic
The Bottom Line: Even if you read it only once a year, this book belongs in your collection.
I'm not sure how we came to have this book in our collection. I think I acquired it when my middle child (now 17) was young. I remember reading it to him and crying every time and now I read it to my almost five year old son and still cry every time. Today we sat down to read it and I thought, "Oh, here's that book that makes me cry every time." I tried to vizualize the ending and prepare myself so I wouldn't cry - but I still did. My kid enjoys the story, but he doesn't get how sweet it is yet. In fact, it's the very key to the story, the song that is song between mother and child, that actually irritates him and towards the end of the book he starts covering his ears when the I read the song part (and imagine, I'm not even singing it, just reading it as a poem).
The story could be a country song as poetic (in a non-rhyming sense) and heart warming as it is. It chronicles the life of a boy that we see in these stages: Baby, Two, Nine, Teenager, Moving Away from Home, Grown Man, Father
Parts of the story are a bit hard to believe, like that when the mom knows the kid is fast asleep, regardless of the age, she picks him up and rocks him and sings a song: I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always, as long as I'm living, my baby you'll be. She does this almost in a stalker sense the way she crawls across the floor and peeks up into the bed. As a teenage the alarm clock shows it is 1:30 a.m. And when the guy moves out she drives to his house in the middle of the night with a ladder on her car and sneaks in his window.
But I'm sure there are many parents out there who, while they may not pysically behave like this, can appreciate the sentiment. No matter how far away our children are, mothers have a tendency to think about them day and night and hope they are well and want to comfort them.
Towards the end of the book the mom is old and sick and her son goes to comfort her. This is the part that always makes me cry, if I haven't already. I also always worry that my child will become concerned about me getting old and sick one day - but that never seems to occur to them, even if I intentionally start a discussion about it they are non-committal as to whether or not they are going to care for me like this man cared for his mom when she got old.
My son likes best the part where the mom shows her frustration with the boy. Like when he's two and tears up the house and the mom says the child is driving her crazy. When he's nine she wants to sell him to the zoo. When he's a teenager she feels like she is in the zoo. But the bigger point to the story is that no matter what happens, she always loves him.
I think this Robert Munsch book is far, far better than another book we read by him (Angela's Airplane). In fact, I was quite surprised it was even the same author. Don't let the toilet on the front cover fool you - this is not a book about potty training, it is a book about love and belongs on everyone's bookshelf, no matter how old their kids are.
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