Love has been considered as the most powerful emotion. And I believe that parental love is the most unconditional, sacrificial, and long-lasting love among all kinds of love. Since I became a parent, my belief on the parental love has been more solidified. Many books on parental love are reviewed, and best five books on parental love are selected and introduced. Most of these books are very touching and show valuable messages to our children. I hope our children think about parental love by reading these books and grow up healthy and wise.
(Author: Bernard Waber, Illustrator: Suzy Lee, Age range: 4~7 years)
A girl is talking to her daddy. She keeps asking and talking to her daddy until the end of the book.
The girl asks her caring daddy if he knows what she likes. She says that she likes dog, cat, turtle, geese, frog, bugs, beetles, bumblebees, and flowers. The list of her favorites continues to horses, ice-cream cones, sands, seashells, star-fish, red color, rain, and stories.
Then her topic moves to how come?, such as ‘how come birds build a nest?’. Then, the girl says that next Thursday is her birthday. At the end of the book, the girl asks her daddy to kiss her good-night before sleeping.
The book is written by Bernard Waber (1921-2013) posthumously. This book is not directly talking about parental love. Instead, the curious girl keeps asking her daddy what she likes. The book has its unique style of a casual conversation between a father and a daughter, and I love how the story was unfolded.
A little girl’s positive energy and insatiable curiosity radiate throughout the book. The girl does not merely mention what she likes. Instead, she keeps asking her daddy to ask her back. This pattern lasts throughout the book, and she is so cute. The pencil illustration by Suzy Lee is unique. It shows rather abstract and simple figures with colorful background.
I’ll never let you go
(Author: Smriti Prasadam-Halls, Illustrator: Alison Brown, Age range: 5~ years)
The book shows many animal parents and their kids. A lot of animals, such as bears, dogs, and owls, appear in the book. All the parents take care of their kids and try to understand them. When children feel happy, nerdy, excited, sad, or scared, their parents will always be with them no matter what.
It is a story of many parents (animals with unknown gender) and their kids. The book shows that parents will always take care of their kids. The book’s rhymed texts are easy to follow. Almost all the pages have the same format of the text: “When you are ______, I ______”. The message on the last page, I’ll never let you go, is very powerful. Our children will feel safe and protected. Our children will feel comfortable with its colorful illustrations, and it is recommended as a bedtime storybook.
Love you forever
(Author: Robert Munsch, Illustrator: Sheila McGraw, Age range: 4~ years)
It is the story of a mother and her son. When a boy was born, she held him in her arms, rocked him, and said, “I’ll love you forever. I’ll like you for always. As long as I am living, my baby you’ll be.”
The boy behaved mischievously as he grew up. At age two, he messed up all around the house. At age nine, he said bad words to his grandmother. When he was a teenager, he did a lot of strange things with his strange friends.
The mother was upset, and said, ‘the boy is driving me crazy’ or “I want to send him to Zoo”. Still, he was a lovely son to his mother. When the boy was asleep, she kept holding him, rocking him back and forth, and said, “I’ll love you forever. I’ll like you for always. As long as I am living, my baby you’ll be”. Even when he moved out as a grown-up man, the mother still visited his grown-up son at night and held him while he was asleep. Then, she rocked him and said the same words, as shown above.
When she became very old, she could not move. Then, she called his son to come over. The son went over to her house, held her, and said, “I’ll love you forever. I’ll like you for always. As long as I am living, my mommy you’ll be”. When the son came to his home, he held his new-born baby-girl and sang the song his mother always sang for him.
Love you Forever is written by a Canadian picture book author, Robert Munsch (1945~) in 1986. He wrote this book after he had two stillborn babies. This book was selected as one of the best 100 children’s books of all time by Magazine Time.
It is a very touching story. The book illustrates how parents feel about their children. Although parents become upset, disappointed, and worried about their children from time to time, the innermost feeling toward them is unconditional love.
The scene where the son is holding his mother, as shown on the right side, is so touching. He holds his mother like what she has done to him for his entire life. His mother is so small and weak, like a baby girl. The last scene where the grown-up son is holding his daughter shows another unconditional love toward his young daughter, another repetition of parental love.
(Author: Alison McGhee, Illustrator: Peter H. Reynolds, Age range: 4~ years)
It is a story of a mother and her young daughter since the daughter was born. The mother says that the daughter was a baby and grew up to a child. The mother keeps telling her daughter that she will experience a lot of things when she grows up, such as having a child, growing old, and thinking of her passed-away mother.
The book is written by Alison McGhee (1960~) in 2007. Its illustrations show simple but powerful graphics on white background.
The structure of the book is unique. In the beginning, all the sentences start with One day considering that they happened already. From some point, new pages start with Someday. These new pages are about what will happen when a child grows up. Expectations and hope that she will grow up wise and strong are overwhelmingly everywhere. The scene in the last page, where the daughter remembers her passed-away mother, is emotional.
The concept of death might be confusing and hard to perceive for most young children. But they seem to understand it as leaving forever. A few days ago, I told my 4-year-old daughter that she would keep growing up, and her father and mother would grow old and pass away someday. She cried and said that she wanted to live with her daddy and mommy forever.
The Wonderful Things You Will Be
(Author and Illustrator: Emily Winfield Martin, Age range: 3~7 years)
The book tells a lot of positive messages to young children. First, the book encourages a child that he/she has great potential of doing anything and becoming anyone. Then, the book keeps asking a child whether he/she wants to do several activities such as playing a song, telling a story, growing a plant, and taking care of vulnerable things. Afterwards, the book encourages that a child will be kind, clever, bold, and brave.
At the end, the book ensures that parents love their child so much whatever he/she becomes.
This book delivers a lot of positive messages to our valuable children, such as the potential of children. It states that a child can become anyone. Showing a lot of activities of a child such as playing a musical instrument, growing a plant, and taking care of little things will surely nurture children’s emotions and confidence. Stating many activities in this way rather than showing what children will become such as a musician, a scientist, or a medical doctor will be more convincing to a child.
The picture of a boy wearing a bear suit reminds me of Where the wild things are as shown in Best Children’s Books About monsters and ghosts. The images of children of all the races in one of the pages implies multiculturalism.
The most important message of this book will be encouraging our children that they can become anyone they want.