Munsch is from an American family with 9 kids! On his website, he claims he almost flunked first grade (and second, third, fourth and fifth!). Although he wasn’t a stellar student, his 7 years studying to become a Jesuit priest were out of the ordinary. Prior to becoming a successful author, he worked in an orphanage and for many years in a daycare.
Love You Forever was published in 1986. Inspired by the two stillborn births he and his wife experienced, Munsch wrote this book as a tribute to them. He once told The Huffington Post that the book was “my way of crying.” The heartbreaking and heartwarming tale has become a children and adult favorite. Oprah Winfrey named it her all-time favorite children’s book.
Munsch and his wife went on to adopt three children. Each of the kids is named in at least one of their father’s books.
Julie, who loves makeup, is the main character in Makeup Mess (published in 2001). Julie was adopted by Munsch and his wife when she was 5 years old. At the time, he would tell her the story of David’s Father every night – for months! Julie had very clear opinions about the characters in the story and helped her dad refine it until it became a book. In 2012, Munsch published Finding Christmas, with Julie also included as the main character. The character in Mud Puddle is named Julie, but isn’t named after Munsch’s daughter. Instead, this “Julie” was inspired by a nursery school student who was sitting in the front row while Munsch was storytelling in a daycare during the late 1970s.
Daughter Tyya, along with her siblings and mother, are featured in Something Good, published in 1995, about a family’s experience at the grocery store.
Books by Munsch are the most stolen books at Toronto public libraries.
Munsch has retired since he suffered a stroke in 2008. His books are largely based on stories he has been telling groups of children for over 40 years. His memory was severely affected by the stroke so he now only publishes books that were previously written.
Health-wise, Munsch also acknowledges struggling with manic-depression, addiction and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). He openly talks about this on his website and encourages parents to listen to their own kids and support them with their own personal challenges.
Munsch used to love showing up to tell stories or read a book at daycares and schools around North America. He would often arrive unannounced, surprising both teachers and students!
According to cbc.ca and the author’s publisher, there are 71 million copies of Munsch’s books in print in North America alone. That’s two Robert Munsch books for each Canadian resident – the country where Munsch currently resides.