10 Kids Books That Make Parents Ugly Cry
By Megan McChesney, CBC Kids Staff
Lead image photography by Laurin Rinder © 123RF.com
Jul 27, 2016
You've been there—you snuggle up to read a story to your kids and you end up convulse-crying into their hair because the story is just so. darn. emotional.
Here are 10 books that we can't get through without weeping—what did we miss?
1. Someday by Alison McGhee
Illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds
A mother's wish for her child to have a full life, a meditation on the brevity of childhood and... just... ugh. Crying just thinking about it.
2. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
It's about a tree that gives absolutely everything to make a boy happy because she loves him so much. Even when she is nothing but a stump, even when the boy grows up and stops coming to see her, she's still trying to make him happy. There are parallels between the parent-child relationship AND the humanity-nature relationship. Oof.
3. Love You Forever by Robert Munsch
Illustrated by Sheila McGraw
Classic tear-jerker. It's about a mother's unwavering love for her son as he grows, and what happens when roles reverse as parents age. And when you find out that Munsch wrote the titular song in honour of his two stillborn children, I CAN'T EVEN.
4. I Promise I'll Find You by Heather Ward
Illustrated by Sheila McGraw
This one is sneaky, because it really just sounds like a sweet catalogue of all the ways a parents would try to reach a child if they were to get separated (plane, train, etc.,), and THEN YOU THINK ABOUT BEING SEPARATED FROM YOUR CHILD AND YOU CRY.
5. In Which Christopher Robin and Pooh Come to an Enchanted Place and We Leave Them There by A.A. Milne
Illustrated by E.B.White
This is the final chapter of the original collection of Winnie the Pooh stories, in which Christopher Robin says a goodbye of sorts to his very best bear. It's also the one that has inspired the most decorative plaques and desktop wallpapers.
"Promise me you won't forget about me ever, not even when I'm a hundred." "How old will I be then?" "Ninety-nine." "I promise."
6. And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson
Illustrated by Henry Cole
Based on the true story of the same-sex penguin couple Silo and Roy at the Central Park Zoo who so desperately wanted their own baby chick that they tried to hatch a rock. A ROCK. (*cries*) One day, their keeper gave them an egg that needed to be cared for. When their egg hatched, baby Tango joined the family. (*cries more*)
7. Wherever You Are My Love will Find You by Nancy Tillman
Nancy Tillman has a particular skill for creating books that hit you right in the heart-strings. You could really add any of her books to this list. But this one in particular is the one you can imagine clutching as you weep in your child's bedroom after they've just left for University for the first time.
8. Tell Me Again About The Night That I was Born by Jamie Lee Curtis
Illustrated by Laura Cornell
(Yes, THAT Jamie Lee Curtis.) A lovely story about adoption, a child asks to hear all about the night she was born. "Tell me again about the first time you held me in your arms and called me your baby sweet. Tell me again how you cried happy tears." STAWP IT.
9. Silly Wonderful You by Sherri Duskey Rinker
Illustrated by Patrick McDonnell
An adorable homage to how life changes after you have kids. You never imagined how messy and loud your life could be, but you also never imagined how much you could love your kids. It might make you cry based on relatability alone!
10. Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams
Illustrated by William Nicholson
This one is just... I mean, a toy rabbit who loves his boy, who watches over him when he has Scarlett Fever, who then has to be BURNED because of the illness? It's almost cruel in how sad it makes me. But, *spoiler alert* there's a happy ending. There's a reason this one has been making parents cry since 1922.