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Robert Norman Munsch Biography | Poet

Photo of Robert Norman Munsch

Robert Norman Munsch, C.M. (born June 11, 1945) is a Canadian children's author.

Munsch was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He 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. He studied to become a Jesuit priest, but decided he would rather work with children after jobs at orphanages and daycare centres. In 1973, he received a Master of Education in Child Studies from Tufts University. In 1975 he moved to Canada to work at the preschool at the University of Guelph in Guelph, Ontario. He also taught in the Department of Family 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.

Munsch stories are well known for their juvenile, yet catchy, humour. Parents sometimes criticised them as being rude or obscene. Munsch himself is well known for his manic storytelling methods, with exaggerated expressions and well-acted voices; his performances are always loved by kids, of all ages.

His 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 children). He often performs at children's festivals and appears at elementary schools, sometimes unannounced. He is a bestselling author in both the United States and Canada, and has sold over 30 million books, more than any other Canadian author. In 1999 he was made a Member of the Order of Canada.

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