I love you to the moon and back {Review of "Guess How Much I Love You"}

It's the year end school holidays and in wanting to start it on a heartwarming note and give a sweet surprise to my big girl who turns eight this week, I brought the kids to watch a theatrical show that we've been anticipating for a long time. Think Little Nutbrown Hare and Big Nutbrown hare and some of you will know what I'm referring to.

Yes, it is based on the best-selling book "Guess How Much I Love You" - a British children's book written by Sam McBratney and illustrated by Anita Jeram which has been captivating hearts around the globe for the past two decades. 

I remember the first time we came across the book was when we borrowed it from the library and we had a delightful read during our bedtime storytelling session. It reminds me of how my girls will always be saying things like "Mama, I love you more", "I love you most", "I love you more than you love me", "I love you forever and ever and ever..." in such sweet tones that melt my heart. But the truth is, they will never know just how much I love them and they can only keep guessing how much. In fact, a mother's love for her child can never be measured and even if I want to, I can't explicitly describe the love I feel for each of my kids too.

They were intrigued by what it meant to love someone to the moon and back and since learning the phrase, they have been saying it to me just so to let me know that they love me deeply. Yup, these tiny beings can be so sweet at times, right?

On the day of the show, which was held at School of The Arts, we arrived early and were thrilled to see a collection of Guess How Much I Love You and I Love You All Year Round books being sold just outside the theatre.

There was also a photobooth where we could put on some hare ears (the bunny ones are our own!) and take a photo for keepsake. What amazed me was that the organisers took down our email address and sent us our digital photo also immediately, which was really a nice and sweet gesture of them.

Moving onto the show, we were in for a hippety hoppety time and the kids, including the little toddler, got really excited when the hares came on stage. Their furry costumes came complete with a white chest, pointed toes, long brown ears and even cute noses too! How adorable (and how stuffy for the cast)!

With just Big Nutbrown Hare, Little Nutbrown Hare and the narrator, the three-man cast entertained us for nearly an hour by taking us through the seasons - from the budding trees in spring to the blossoming flowers in summer to the fallen leaves in autumn and the icy snow in winter. I thought the way they made use of props to illustrate the seasons was ingenious, including using cutouts of trees which could flip like pages of a book, hidden colourful blooms, a silky blue cloth for the icy river, puppetry for the animals and insects such as bird, owl, butterfly and frog, falling bits of paper for the snow, a surprise spider web and many more.

As Big Nutbrown Hare and Little Nutbrown Hare went through each of the seasons, they would tell each other how much they loved them, for instance by using how high they hopped, how wide their arms could stretch and how far their toes could reach the sky and so on. Big Nutbrown Hare would usually 'win' because he was bigger, taller and mostly because he truly loved the little one so, so much.

The use of catchy, melodious tunes, choreographed dance moves and interaction with the audience members made it so much more engaging and I like that the love being portrayed between Big Nutbrown Hare and Little Nutbrown Hare was untainted, pure and unwavering throughout the passage of time. The way they would give each other big bear hugs, the way Big would lift Little up and spin her around, the way Little would pull at Big's ears just to make sure he could hear her clearly - all these and many more sweet gestures reminded me of the strong, relentless love between a parent and child.

That warm, fuzzy feeling that stirred up in my heart was probably why I love this show so much, even if the hubby couldn't identify with it. Yes, men are just not as emo or sentimental, are they? My favourite part was the ending when the brightly lit moon appeared in the dark blue sky and rounded up the play perfectly. Even though the last line of the book, and the show, has already turned into a popular line to declare one's love, I still loved it when Big Nutbrown Hare put his arm around Little and whispered it in that sweet, loving tone of his

"I love you right up to the moon - and back".

Yup, I've a feeling we'll be reading this book for many more nights and I'm going to think of creative ways to let the kids know just how much I love them. Much thanks to ABA Productions for inviting us to the show and we can't wait for Kidsfest 2018 to come!

P.S. Kidsfest 2018 will take place over four weeks in two venues from 17 Jan to 11 Feb next year. There will be a total of six exciting productions to watch and I'll be sharing more in depth about the line-up, as well as give away tickets for you and your kids to watch your favourite show soon, so stay tuned!

Disclosure: We were invited by ABA Productions to review "Guess How I Love You" as well as host a giveaway (Congrats to the winner Angelina, I hope you enjoyed the show too!). All opinions are my own.


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