WordFUL Wednesday: Robert Munsch

My 8 year old niece won 6 tickets to see Robert Munsch from a draw at her school, and was very thoughtful in choosing who to invite.

Her mom, her two best friends, and of coarse me, her auntie JJ, who has been buying her Munsch books nearly every birthday and Christmas for the last 8 years.

Needless to say I was ecstatic! I have loved Robert Munsch's books for as long as I can remember. Without his stories I don't think I would love books half as much as I do now.

For anyone out there who has never read on of his stories stop reading this (you can come back to it in a bit, just humor me here), get in your car, or on your bike, bus, or train and go, right this very second, to the nearest book store and get at least one, or as many as you can. You'll thank me when you do, and your children will thank you.

(If you find yourself overwhelmed by the selection, my personal favorites are "Purple, Green, and Yellow", "Millicent and the Wind", "The Mud Puddle", and "The Paper Bag Princess")

The man is quite simply a genius. His story telling speaks to not only every child, but to every person. Every character is us, our children, our brothers and sisters, our nieces and nephews.

Along with very relatable characters and plots ranging from a girl who finds a baby in a hole, a boy who won't go to sleep, a girl who makes friends with the wind, to the experiences of a young immigrant's first days of school in Canada, Robert Munsch also builds his stories with story time in mind. His stories are meant to be read out loud and interacted with.

Hearing his stories come to life through his own telling was magic.

At one point, while he was telling every mother's favorite Munsch story 'love you forever', all the babies in the audience aged 0 to 13 and beyond rested comfortably in their mother's arms without any resistance or embarrassment. It was a shared moment so peaceful and powerful that there was not a single dry maternal eye in the house. I got the feeling that many of the mothers of older children had not had the opportunity to hold their babies so closely in quite some time.

There is a funny thing that happens though, when you hear stories you remember from your childhood told by someone other than the person who told them to you in your childhood. It's not unlike listening to a cover of your favorite song in that it's often hard to stop comparing the two versions and just enjoy it, and yet it's so much more than that. There's a disappointment that sets in, and something akin to home sickness. The man who wrote the story could never tell it as well as my parents did.

So tears and laughter and nostalgia were had and at the end of the show I eagerly rushed for the autograph line. We stood there for 2 hours, despite the fact that the children were getting bored and Oliver overtired. (Thank god for those girls though, Oliver hardly fussed at all he was so busy soaking up the attention!)

I got to meet one of my childhood heroes, got to thank him for his contribution to my childhood, and to Oliver’s. And even though my camera suffered a sudden and mysterious crap out at that exact moment causing me to miss a great photo opportunity (Robert Munsch holding my son). I couldn't have asked for anything more.

1 comment:

Malcolm+ said...

I'd've LOVED that pic.