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Robert Munsch Biography

Jan 22, 2016

Robert Munsch is one of the best-selling children's authors of all time; you may not know his name, but you're very likely to recognize one of his books (especially if you're Canadian). His books are sweet, humorous, and always a lot of fun! 

Munsch is known for his oral storytelling skills. Munsch is known for his oral storytelling skills. Courtesy of cbc.ca

Robert Munsch History

  • Munsch was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on June 11, 1945. He grew up in a family of 9 kids!
  • Munsch has a Bachelor of Arts degree, a Master of Arts degree (with a specialization in philanthropy), and Master of Education degree. 
  • The future author studied to be a Jesuit priest before decided to work with children in a daycare setting. In 1975, he and his wife moved to Guelph, ON, Canada to work in a daycare. 
  • Munsch had long been making up stories for the children he worked with, sometimes inspired by real life events, but didn't begin publishing them as books until his boss at the daycare insisted he take some time off to write. His first published book was Mud Puddle in 1975. 

He sure does look like a children's author!He sure does look like a children's author!Courtesy of famousauthors.org

Writing and Storytelling

  • Munsch has an interesting way of writing; he takes inspiration from the children he works with or meets, and usually uses the child he first tells a new story to as the main character in that story. 
  • Robert Munsch has said that a story takes 200 tellings in order to become perfect, and in fact Munsch's career has been characterized by his practice of telling stories orally at children's festivals, daycares, and schools across Canada and the United States. He has even been known to stay with families while on the road! 
  • A number of illustrators have worked on Munsch's books, but perhaps the most memorable is Michael Martchenko, whose pictures really brought the stories to life and stayed with the reader long after the book was finished. 

Michael Martchenko's illustrations are a big part of Munsch's books!Michael Martchenko's illustrations are a big part of Munsch's books!Courtesy of cbc.ca

Robert Munsch's Books

  • The Paper Bag Princess, written in 1980, is one of Munsch's most beloved books. It tells the story of a princess who is forced to rescue her princely fiance when he is kidnapped by a dragon. The prince doesn't show the appropriate gratitude for his beloved's efforts, so she goes off in to the sunset without him. It's classic!
  • Love You Forever, published in 1986, has been called one of the all-time best-selling children's books. It's the book that makes your mom cry when she reads it to you; it tells the story of a mother and her son as they grow and change over the course of their lives. 
  • Some other Robert Munsch favorites include Angela's AirplaneMoira's Birthday, and Stephanie's Ponytail.

Bye bye, dragon! The Paper Bag Princess is a fantastic story. Bye bye, dragon! The Paper Bag Princess is a fantastic story. Courtesy of guelphpl.ca

If it's been a while since you've picked up a Robert Munsch book, go out to the library and take a look at one of your old favorites. His books can be enjoyed by people of all ages, so go ahead and get reading! 

Have Your Say!

Which Robert Munsch book means the most to you? We'd love to hear what you have to say in the comments section!