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You LOOK like a real prince, but YOU ARE A BUM.
December 13, 2004 10:08 AM   Subscribe

The man who brought us The Paper Bag Princess and Love You Forever, Robert Munsch is Canada's best-selling author and, though originally from Pittsburgh, a Member of the Order of Canada. His website contains descriptions of his books and mp3s of his entertaining readings of them as well as stories written collaboratively with kids he meets on his reading tours. A former Jesuit-priest-in training, he will once again act as Honorary Celebrity Chair for ABC CANADA Literacy Foundation's 2005 Family Literacy Day. The CBC aired a documentary about his life on November 7, 2000 (video excerpt [.ram]). See also: many lesson plans for teachers using his books.
posted by heatherann (13 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
When I was in grade 3, he came to my school and read Mortimer to our class and it still makes me happy just thinking about it. I'd go to see him again in a second. He's one of the best children's entertainers I've ever seen, and he's still doing about 200 performances a year.
posted by heatherann at 10:10 AM on December 13, 2004


I do believe I heard the other day that it turns out Munsch has suffered major depression for many, many years, and has just now discovered it. On meds, he's finding life is amazing... and that his story-writing is suffering.

I think that's what I heard. I could well be wrong.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:24 AM on December 13, 2004


Isn't it the history of human creation that artists who become happy cease to do interesting art?
posted by xmutex at 10:35 AM on December 13, 2004


"Munsch has battled manic depression, recovered from an addiction to alcohol and still fights obsessive-compulsive tendencies. "Everybody has things they have to deal with. Our lives are a deck of cards that we get dealt," he says."

I can't find anything about meds or how that affects his story-writing, but yeah... manic depression. This page lists Munsch as a famous person with depression and is copyright 2001, so I think this has been known for a while.
posted by heatherann at 10:37 AM on December 13, 2004


For the Americans out there unfamiliar with Munsch, think a literary Mr. Rogers. If not at all in style, then in ubiquity and universal adoration. The school libraries I've worked in have entire bookcases devoted to him, and his books don't take up a lot of shelf space.

I'm afraid to listen to him read "Love You Forever," though, because I know his version of the song will sound different from the one my Mom used to sing me before I went to sleep. *sniff*
posted by Simon! at 11:29 AM on December 13, 2004


Great post; Munsch is a classic.
posted by livii at 12:53 PM on December 13, 2004


Robert Munsch gives readings at my kids' school all the time (we' live in the same town he does). He's kind of a local celebrity around here, as all the kids and many of the adults grew up with his books.
I've yet to meet the man, though.
posted by rocket88 at 12:54 PM on December 13, 2004


I remember him coming to my school, too! I think he read David's Father.

We also put on a stage version of Murmel Murmel Murmel, and I was the lucky child to wear a diaper and play the part of the baby.
posted by Robot Johnny at 2:09 PM on December 13, 2004


I didn't know about this guy. Good post.
posted by languagehat at 2:59 PM on December 13, 2004


rocket88 lives in my hometown!

And I have actually met him as I used to work in the children's department of the local public library, where he tended to happen by at the same time once a week.

He is painfully shy.
posted by Hildegarde at 5:04 PM on December 13, 2004


I mean Bob Munsch, not rocket88. Unless I've met them both without knowing it, of course.
posted by Hildegarde at 5:07 PM on December 13, 2004


*Waves at Hildegarde...plans mefi Guelph meetup*
posted by rocket88 at 8:46 PM on December 13, 2004


Robert Munsch is most definitely in my top 10 favourite children's authors.

He came to my school too, repeatedly throughout my elementary years. I remember listening to him reading Mortimer and Murmel Murmel Murmel.

And Simon, every so often the words from I Love You Forever pop into my head, and I have a little cry. Yes, I'm a girlie-man

I think Munsch's success is that he hit on the formula that Robin Williams pointed out in Mrs Doubtfire: You don't have to talk down to children, just talk to them. My school had standing orders for replacement copies of all of his books, because they got loved so much, so frequently. He had this incredible knack for telling important and meaningful stories in ways that children can understand, without pandering or oversimplifying.

The man is a genius.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 10:10 PM on December 13, 2004


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