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Love You Forever: The Story Behind Robert Munsch's Famous Book Will Tear You Apart

04/29/2015 02:13 EDT | Updated 11/22/2016 04:48 EST

Love you Forever is likely Robert Munsch's best-selling book, which is saying a lot. The children's author has more than 50 titles to his name, including the iconic Mud Puddle and The Paper Bag Princess. But Love you Forever alone has sold more than 15 million copies (in Canada, a bestselling book is one that has sold 5,000 copies).

Published in 1986, the same year as 50 Below Zero, this famous children's book actually began as a song:

"I'll love you forever,

I'll like you for always,

as long as I'm living

my baby you'll be."

Munsch didn't write the song for a book, though. He wrote it after his wife delivered two stillborn babies. "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 on his website.

When he finally decided to make a story around the song, his publisher didn't think it was a kid's book so he went with another publisher. And the first publisher was right.

"One day the publisher called up and said 'This is very strange. It is selling very well in retirement communities in Arizona. It is selling in retirement communities where kids are illegal. This is supposed to be a children's book. What is going on? Grownups are buying it for grownups!," explains Munsch. "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."

As Munsch says: "Everybody buys it for everybody."

Which Robert Munsch book is your favourite?