This is the most touching children's book I know. It's the story of Little Nutbrown Hare, who wanted to show his dad, Big Nutbrown Hare, just how much he loved him. He stretched out his arms as wide as he could, but was topped by dad when he stretched his longer arms farther. The two then banter back and forth, stretching out the amount of their love all the way until Little Nutbrown Hare finally falls asleep and dad whispers he loves him all the way "to the moon and back".
This story never fails to melt my heart. I love how Little Nutbrown Hare is asleep, thinking he had the last word with "I love you to the moon." when Big Nutbrown Hare whispers that poignant "I love you to the moon - and back." That perfectly captures the truth about a parent's unconditional, usually unnoticed, love for his child.
I have my own version of this these days. My sweet but strong-willed 6-year-old son always has to have the last word:
Me: I love you.
Noah: I love you too.
Me: I love you more.
Noah: I love you the most.
Me: That's impossible!
Noah: Nothing's impossible for Animal Mechanical (a regular line in this Playhouse Disney cartoon).
And he gets the last word because no matter how many times we go through this dialogue, it always, always amuses me that he's quoting his cartoon show, so I just end up laughing. But if he only knew, my heart whispers, "Animal Mechanical or not, I love YOU the most."