Robert Munsch

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Robert Munsch

Munsch in Guelph, Ontario, 1997
Munsch in Guelph, Ontario, 1997
BornRobert Norman Munsch
(1945-06-11) June 11, 1945 (age 78)
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
NationalityAmerican / Canadian
EducationMaster of Education (Child studies)
Alma materBoston University (BA, MA)
Fordham University
Tufts University
University of Guelph
GenreChildren's literature
Notable worksThe Paper Bag Princess
Love You Forever
Notable awardsOrder of Canada

Robert Norman Munsch CM (born June 11, 1945) is an American-Canadian children's author.[1]

Personal life and career[edit]

Robert Munsch was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on June 11, 1945. He grew up in a family of 9 children.[2] Munsch graduated from Fordham University in 1969 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history and from Boston University in 1971 with a Master of Arts degree in anthropology.

Munsch studied to become a Jesuit priest, but decided he would rather work with children after having jobs at orphanages and daycare centers. In 1973, Munsch received a Master of Education in Child Studies from Tufts University. He moved to Canada in 1975 to work at the preschool at the University of Guelph in Guelph, Ontario.[3] Munsch also taught in the College of Family and Consumer Studies at the University of Guelph as a lecturer and as an assistant professor. In Guelph, he was encouraged to publish the many stories he made up for the children he worked with.

One of Munsch's best-known books, Love You Forever, was listed fourth on the 2001 Publishers Weekly All-Time Bestselling Children's Books list for paperbacks at 6.97 million copies (not including the 1.049 million hardcover copies).[4] It has since sold over 30 million copies and has been featured on the episode "The One With the Cake" from the television show Friends, as well as being mentioned by Oprah Winfrey on Late Night with David Letterman as being her favorite children's book. Munsch's other famous book, The Paper Bag Princess, has sold over seven million copies and is considered to be a feminist story, as well as a literary classic.[5][6]

Munsch and his wife, Ann, discovered they could not have biological children after two pregnancies ended with still-births.[7] They have three children via adoption.[8]


Munsch has publicly talked about his bipolar disorder and addiction issues.[9][10] In August 2008, Munsch suffered a stroke that affected his memory. He has since retired, but continued to publish two previously written books each year.[11] On May 15, 2010, Munsch announced that he had been diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive and manic-depressive disorder, and that he had a cocaine addiction that started in 2005 and was a recovering alcoholic; at the time, Munsch had been clean for four months, and had regularly attended Alcoholics Anonymous for the previous 25 years and Narcotics Anonymous meetings more recently.[12][13][14] On October 2, 2021, Munsch told the CBC that he had been diagnosed with dementia and, as a result, can no longer write.[15]

Writing style[edit]

Munsch is known for his exuberant storytelling methods, with exaggerated expressions and acted voices. He makes up his stories in front of audiences and refines them through repeated tellings.

Munsch's stories do not have a recurring single character; instead, the characters are based on the children to whom he first told the story, including his own children. Munsch often performed at children's festivals and appears at elementary schools, sometimes unannounced. In 1991, some of his books were adapted into the cartoon series A Bunch of Munsch.

Awards and honours[edit]

In 1985, Munsch won a Juno Award for his portrayal of "Murmel, Murmel, Munsch: More Outrageous Stories". In 1992, he was also chosen "Author of the Year" by the Canadian Booksellers' Association.[6]

In 1999, Munsch was made a Member of the Order of Canada. On June 17, 2009, it was announced that Munsch would receive a star on Canada's Walk of Fame in Toronto. The induction ceremony was held on September 12, 2009, and in 2013, his star was revealed on King Street in Toronto.[16][17] In 2009, Robert Munsch Public School opened in Whitby, Ontario, and in 2014, a second Robert Munsch Public School opened in Mount Albert, Ontario.[18]

Munsch is also the most stolen author at the Toronto Public Library.[19]


Year Title Illustrator ISBN Publisher Notes
1979 Mud Puddle Sami Suomalainen 1-55037-468-0 Annick Press
The Dark Michael Martchenko 1-55037-450-8
1980 The Paper Bag Princess 0-920236-16-2[5] One of the books adapted into an episode in A Bunch of Munsch
1981 Jonathan Cleaned Up — Then He Heard a Sound (also known as Blackberry Subway Jam) 0-920236-21-9 One of the books adapted into an episode in A Bunch of Munsch. Also adapted into a 1984 short film by the National Film Board of Canada.
1982 Murmel Murmel Murmel 1-55037-012-X One of the books adapted into an episode in A Bunch of Munsch
The Boy in the Drawer 0-920303-50-1 One of the books adapted into an episode in A Bunch of Munsch
1983 The Fire Station 1-55037-171-1 One of the books adapted into an episode in A Bunch of Munsch
David's Father 1-55037-011-1 One of the books adapted into an episode in A Bunch of Munsch
1984 Millicent and the Wind Suzanne Duranceau 0-920236-93-6
1985 Mortimer Michael Martchenko 0-920303-11-0 One of the books adapted into an episode in A Bunch of Munsch
Thomas' Snowsuit 1-55451-115-1 One of the books adapted into an episode in A Bunch of Munsch
1986 50 Below Zero 0-920236-91-X One of the books adapted into an episode in A Bunch of Munsch
I Have To Go! 0-920303-51-X
Love You Forever Sheila McGraw 0-920668-37-2 Firefly Books
1987 Moira's Birthday Michael Martchenko Annick Press One of the books adapted into an episode in A Bunch of Munsch
1988 Angela's Airplane 0-920236-75-8 One of the books adapted into an episode in A Bunch of Munsch
1989 Giant; or Waiting for the Thursday Boat Gilles Tibo
Pigs! Michael Martchenko 1-55037-388-9 One of the books adapted into an episode in A Bunch of Munsch
1990 Something Good 1-55037-390-0 One of the books adapted into an episode in A Bunch of Munsch
1991 Good Families Don't Alan Daniel Doubleday
Show and Tell Michael Martchenko Annick Press
1992 A Promise is a Promise (co-authored with Michael Kusugak) Vladyana Krykorka
Purple, Green and Yellow Hélène Desputeaux 1-55451-113-5
1993 Wait and See Michael Martchenko
1994 Where is Gah-Ning? Hélène Desputeaux
1995; 2017 From Far Away Michael Martchenko;

2017 edition illustrated by Rebecca Green[20]

1996 Get Me Another One Mike Boldt Doubleday
Stephanie's Ponytail Michael Martchenko 1-55451-114-3 Annick Press
1997 Alligator Baby Cartwheel
1998 Get Out of Bed Alan Daniel & Lea Daniel
Andrew's Loose Tooth Michael Martchenko
1999 We Share EVERYTHING!
2000 Aaron's Hair Alan Daniel & Lea Daniel
Mmm, Cookies Michael Martchenko 0590516949
2001 Up, Up, Down 0439988152
2002 Makeup Mess 978-0439988964
More Pies 978-0779113637
Playhouse 978-0439989596
Ribbon Rescue Eugenie Fernandes 0590038710
2003 Lighthouse Janet Wilson 978-0439946568
Zoom Michael Martchenko
2004 Boo! 978-0439961264
Smelly Socks 978-0439967075
2005 The Sandcastle Contest 978-0439955904
2006 Deep Snow 978-0439946582 Scholastic
I'm So Embarrassed! 978-0439952392 Cartwheel
No Clean Clothes 0-439-93790-6 Scholastic
2007 Class Clown
2008 Just One Goal! 0-545-99035-1
Look at Me!
Kiss Me, I'm Perfect! Cartwheel
2009 Down the Drain 0-545-98600-1 Scholastic
Roar! 0-545-98020-8
Braids! Dave Whamond 978-1443157391
2010 Put Me in a Book Michael Martchenko 1-4431-0080-3
Too Much Stuff! 978-1443102452
2011 Moose! 1-4431-0718-2 One of the books later became a Holiday Special television series.
Give Me Back My Dad! 1-4431-0764-6
Neversink School and Other Silly Poems 1443113352
2012 Finding Christmas
It's My Room!
2013 Seeing Red! 1-4431-2446-X
Swamp Water
2014 Hugs
Pyjama Day!
2015 Ready, Set, Go!
2016 So Much Snow! 1-4431-4617-X
2017 Blackflies Jay Odjick
The Enormous Suitcase Michael Martchenko
2018 Moving Day!
2019 Sounds Like Christmas
Bear for Breakfast Jay Odjick
School Rules! Dave Whamond
2020 Teamwork Michael Martchenko 1443182699
2021 I Can Fix It! 1443192120
Think Big! Dave Whamond 1443182982
2023 Class Trip Michael Martchenko


Year Title ISBN Stories Included
1998 Munschworks: The First Munsch Collection 978-1-55037-523-7 The Paper Bag PrincessI Have to Go!David's FatherThe Fire StationThomas' Snowsuit
1999 Munschworks 2: The Second Munsch Treasury 978-1-55037-553-4 PigsPurple, Green and YellowMortimerMurmel, Murmel, MurmelSomething Good
2000 Munschworks 3: The Third Munsch Treasury 978-1-55037-633-3 Stephanie's PonytailAngela's AirplaneJonathan Cleaned UpShow and TellA Promise Is a Promise
2001 Munschworks Grand Treasury 978-1-55037-685-2 The Paper Bag PrincessThe Fire StationI Have to Go!David's FatherThomas' SnowsuitPigsMortimerPurple, Green and YellowMurmel, Murmel, MurmelSomething GoodStephanie's PonytailAngela's AirplaneJonathan Cleaned Up - Then He Heard a SoundShow and TellA Promise Is a Promise
2002 Munschworks 4: The Fourth Munsch Treasury 978-1-55037-766-8 Moira's BirthdayFrom Far Away50 Below ZeroThe Boy in the DrawerMillicent and the Wind
2004 Munsch More! 978-0-439-96135-6 Alligator BabyAndrew's Loose ToothGet Out of BedMmm, Cookies!Ribbon Rescue
2006 Murmel Murmel Munsch!
(audio CD)
1897166273 Mud PuddlePigs!Boo!Kendro's BraidsSquished SquashI'm So Embarrassed!Lacey's KissMurmel, Murmel, MurmelFlowers on My JeansAndrew's Loose ToothSomething GoodVictoria's LunchMakeup MessZoom!
2007 Much More Munsch!: A Robert Munsch Collection 978-0-43993-571-5 We Share Everything!Aaron's HairUp, Up, DownMakeup MessPlayhouse
2010 Mad About Munsch: A Robert Munsch Collection 978-1-44310-239-1 More Pies!Zoom!Smelly SocksBoo!The Sandcastle ContestBraids
2010 Munsch Mini-Treasury One 978-1-55451-273-7 Angela's AirplaneThe Paper Bag Princess50 Below ZeroPigsA Promise Is a Promise
2010 Munsch Mini-Treasury Two 978-1-55451-274-4 Stephanie's PonytailThe Fire StationI Have to Go!Moira's BirthdayThomas' Snowsuit
2013 Munsch Mania! 978-1-44312-826-1 Class ClownI'm So Embarrassed!Just One Goal!Look at Me!No Clean Clothes
2014 Munsch Mini-Treasury Three 978-1-55451-651-3 David's FatherMortimerPurple, Green and YellowShow and TellSomething Good
2017 The Robert Munsch Collection: Volume One 978-1-50404-984-9 The Paper Bag PrincessStephanie's Ponytail50 Below ZeroPigsThe Fire StationA Promise Is a PromiseJonathan Cleaned Up - Then He Heard a SoundMoira's BirthdayShow and TellMortimer
2017 The Robert Munsch Collection: Volume Two 978-1-50404-985-6 Angela's AirplaneDavid's FatherI Have to Go!Mud PuddleMurmel, Murmel, MurmelSomething GoodThe Boy in the DrawerThe DarkThomas' SnowsuitWait and See
2019 Marvellous Munsch! 978-1-44314-863-4 Down the Drain!Put Me in a Book!Too Much Stuff!Moose!Give Me Back My Dad!Hugs


  1. ^ "All About Robert Munsch | The Official Website of Robert Munsch". Retrieved 2023-04-26.
  2. ^ "All About Robert Munsch | the Official Website of Robert Munsch".
  3. ^ "All About Robert Munsch | The Official Website of Robert Munsch". Retrieved 2018-02-26.
  4. ^ "All-Time Bestselling Children's Books". Publishers Weekly. Archived from the original on May 1, 2006. Retrieved September 25, 2006.
  5. ^ a b Siegel, Alisa; Levine, Karen; Holdsworth, Pauline (13 December 2019). "It does have a happy ending". The Sunday Edition. CBC Radio. Retrieved 16 December 2019.
  6. ^ a b Wiznura, Robert; Grandy, Karen. "Robert Munsch". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved 24 March 2019.
  7. ^ Ann Hui (November 10, 2010). "The Backstory, Bestselling children's author Robert Munsch faces a crisis". The Walrus.
  8. ^ "75 things you might not know about Robert Munsch". CBC books. 1 May 2017.
  9. ^ Picard, André (October 9, 2009). "How Robert Munsch grabbed a lifeline". The Globe and Mail. Toronto. Retrieved 2010-05-16.
  10. ^ "Growing Up Munsch (aired May 15, 2010)". Global Television Network, 16:9 (TV series). May 11, 2010. Archived from the original on May 19, 2010. Retrieved 2010-05-16.
  11. ^ "Munsch Recovering From Stroke". Waterloo Region Record. November 1, 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-07.
  12. ^ "Munsch admits to cocaine, alcohol addiction". The Globe and Mail. 17 May 2010. Retrieved 9 March 2019.
  13. ^ "Robert Munsch admits to cocaine, alcohol abuse". Maclean's. 17 May 2010. Retrieved 9 March 2019.
  14. ^ Hague, Matthew (17 May 2010). "Robert Munsch to cocaine: I won't love you forever". Toronto Life. Retrieved 9 March 2019.
  15. ^ "'The stories will be the last thing to go': Robert Munsch on his legacy as one of Canada's great storytellers".
  16. ^ "The Stars Align at the 12th Annual Canada's Walk of Fame". Canada's Walk of Fame. 2009-06-16. Archived from the original on 2009-06-20. Retrieved 2009-06-16.
  17. ^ Jones, Allison (2009-09-12). "Mandel, Munsch among new Canada Walk of Fame inductees". Toronto: The Globe and Mail, syndicated from The Canadian Press. Retrieved 2009-09-14.
  18. ^ "Robert Munsch Public School". Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2012-12-14.
  19. ^ Robinson, Michael (15 July 2015). "Gone but not forgotten: 100,000 Toronto library books outstanding". The Toronto Star. Retrieved 16 July 2015.
  20. ^ From Far Away. Kirkus Reviews.

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