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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fuse 8 n’ Kate: Love You Forever by Robert Munsch (a very special episode)

LoveYouForeverThat’s right! After a month of good but relatively obscure titles I’m declaring today Very Special Episode Day for the Fuse 8 n’ Kate podcast. Folks have requested this one since our inception and now, for your listening enjoyment, I have the honor of springing this book on someone who has never read it before. What will she think? Will she pull a Rainbow Fish on me and defend it? Will we see eye-to-eye on the matter? Will I bring up the book’s complicated backstory or let sleeping dogs lie? May also include the jazziest version of the Love You Forever song you’ll ever hear.

Listen to the whole show here on Soundcloud or download it through iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, or your preferred method of podcast selection.

Show Notes:

A bottle of vodka or some kind of shampoo? You be the judge.


As none of the felines in this book warrant names, we hereby dub this fellow Ferret Rat Cat.


Robert Munsch sings the definitive Love You Forever song.

Mom’s watch. So not dad’s then.


We didn’t notice the Walkman when we discussed when this takes place. Good thing too. I think Kate would have had many words to say about what that bottle under his arm is, exactly.


She may not have been to sharp at kitties, but I can’t help but kind of love this image of the Ferret Rat Cat holding its ears.


This would be the upside down friend in sweater. Also, I missed how frightening that image on the wall is. I feel like quote Rosemary’s Baby here. “What’s wrong with his eyes? What did you do to his eyes?!”


Ferret Rat Cat is, essentially, a straight line rendered in cat form.


Is this his wife? Or a friendly neighbor who gives the man his kitten? Considering that we only see one cat in the house, I’m inclined to believe it’s the latter case. In which case . . . where did this guy get his child?


The infamous Hitchcock moment with the ladder on car. You want to know why mom’s dying at the end of the book? Between lifting this and her grown son, that’ll put you into an early grave, easy.


The single bed. Mom’s heels. The kitten desperate to flee this scene.


And the cycle continues. Though I did like how Kate noticed that the bear here . . .


Is the same as his bear here.


Friends episode when Joey reads the book. Notice how they skip the whole middle section.

The Pop-Up book version. Out this past September, so we’re timely!


Children’s Books Made Horrific – Love You Forever. I take back everything I ever said about the one they did for The Very Hungry Caterpillar. This one is truly the most disturbing.

The dedication


The Canadian cover


The Love Curse of the Rumbaughs by Jack Gantos with the pitch perfect paperback cover some genius conjured up for this book.


Movie trailer for Murder on the Orient Express. I’d forgotten how additionally funny I found the music for the trailer.

Square One. I had so many clips to choose from, but this is the one Allie showed me and I just loved remembering it.

And finally, I never brought this up with Kate, but remember that somewhere out there, there are nurseries that looks like this.

Remember that.


About Elizabeth Bird

Elizabeth Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.


  1. I have to admit, I was warned about the creepiness of this book. I recognized the creepiness of this book at the time before I had kids. I STILL recognize the creepiness of this book after having kids. AND YET THE DAMN THING STILL MANAGED TO MAKE ME CRY.

    And therein must must must lie the evil genius of this book: creepy as all get-out but has the power to make you cry. IDK.

  2. Haven’t listened to the episode, so forgive me if I’m stepping on known information:

    Is the bottle not baby oil?

    I, a Canadian, had the Sheila McGraw (a Canadian, from Toronto, who got the job in 1986) illustrations, not the Anthony Lewis illustrations (which seem to be a 2001 UK edition; Lewis is British).

    I knew a kid in high school (in the US) who bore a striking resemblance to the kid in the (again, McGraw) illustrations. He GENUINELY BELIEVED this book had been created/illustrated just for him, maybe a la the “insert your kid’s name” books that were popular at malls for a while. Learning that other people also grew up with “his” book blew his mind/broke his heart in 11th grade.

    • Elizabeth Bird says:

      Baby oil! Why didn’t that occur to me? And thank you for clarifying those illustrations. McGraw’s are original to Canad then? I’ll correct on the next podcast. Thanks!

  3. Well, *that* was quite the rabbit hole of Square One videos you sent me down…

  4. Hi Betsy,
    Love this post!!! Thank you for tackling the most divisive, best-selling Canadian children’s book ever. And, yes, Kate B. is right–we have the Sheila McGraw illustrated version in Canada. :)

  5. So, my first introduction to “Love You Forever” was when I was 20-ish and my church did a dramatic play of it. I sobbed like I’d never sobbed in my entire life. I honestly thought it was the most beautiful sentiment I had ever seen. It was exactly what I thought parenthood should be! Ironically, it wasn’t until after I had children myself that I realized that this book didn’t necessarily have it right. I still think the sentiment is nice. And believe it or not, it never once crossed my mind that the mother was actually physically truly in real life going into that boy’s room. I always assumed it was just the way she thought about him, a metaphor or something. (This is what children really do to you. They wear you out so you can’t think of the right words when you need them!). Now that I have children myself I can see the danger of never letting your kids grow up and become independent adults. That’s the hardest thing about parenting; knowing that someday you will HAVE to let them go. Doesn’t change how much you love them though. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t like this book. I did like this book. But now, as a parent myself, I can totally see the creepiness factor. As a children’s librarian, I can definitely see where others have done the I Love You Baby thing waaay better.
    Oh, and by the way. I have crawled, ninja-like, in and out of my toddler’s bedroom. Somehow she can sense my presence so if I check on her I have to be stealthy. 

    • Elizabeth Bird says:

      Thanks! And I hear you on the ninja thing. I’m still doing that, even though I have The World’s Creakiest Wooden Floor. Thank goodness for the amount of energy they expend during the day so that small bulldozers wouldn’t wake them up.

  6. I love these pods. So funny. Keep up the good work, ladies! Ur fan, mermel

  7. Meghan McCarthy says:

    Love the podcast. That dramatic reading of the book (can’t recall who did it) was absolutely hilarious. For all of my years working at the bookstore and seeing that bizarre book fly off the shelves, I cannot for the life of me figure out why. Also, I watched Square One and the rest because I had to: my mom only let us watch PBS! I still hate math so I guess it didn’t help.

  8. 1. I had forgotten all about Square One, and now I’m revisiting, in my brain, all the weird educational programming I watched as an elementary school kid in the mid to late eighties.

    2. I had a professor in library school who railed (RAILED!) against Love You Forever. She ripped into it with great ferocity, and I say at my desk thinking, “Aww. My mom bought that book for me when I was in high school. I loved it. It made me cry!”

    3. And as the professor continued to punch through all the preciousness of the story, I thought, “Oh, god. What if *my* mom climbed in my bedroom window *tonight*?” And even though I live hours away from her and love her dearly, I briefly considered barring my windows.

    4. So I get it. But I still kinda like the book. And it still makes me cry, so I don’t read it.

    5. No one asked for this, but whatever. I’m putting it out there. On your blog. Sorry, Betsy.

    • *sat at my desk. Obvs.

    • Elizabeth Bird says:

      Actually, I like it quite a lot when my blog isn’t just an echo chamber of my own peculiar thoughts. Alternate opinions are MORE than welcome! And, to be frank, I thought I’d get more of a backlash. Only you’re totally respectful and not backlashy in the least, so it’s all good.

      Check out today’s podcast. I put on Today’s Special! Remember that one? No?