Immersed in Munsch
Children’s author and adoptive dad Robert Munsch talks about storytelling, his path to fatherhood, and the inspiration he finds in his three kids. By Kay Marner
Robert Munsch does not write books. That’s right. He did not write the beloved Love You Forever. He sang it. And told it, changing a word here, adjusting a detail there, before finally putting it on paper. Robert Munsch tells stories. The award-winning author has published 48 books so far, and his storytelling style is evident in each. His books invite you to get LOUD, to try out silly voices. The ideal way to experience Munsch’s masterpieces? Listen to them.
And who better to hear them from than the master himself? On his latest CD compilation, Murmel Murmel Munsch!, he performs 14 stories. In Murmel Murmel Murmel, a little girl hears a strange sound coming from a hole in her sandbox. She reaches in the hole and pulls out a baby. Realizing she can’t care for the baby, she finds a man who is able and eager to do so.
“Murmel Murmel Murmel is sort of a fantasy view of adoption,” Munsch said. Fantasy, perhaps, but one that’s grounded in Munsch’s real-life experience adopting his son.
Check out what one AF reader thinks about Robert Munsch's classic, Love You Forever.
Plus, browse our roundup of other great children's picture books that say family is forever, at In So Many Words.
“Our doctor called us and asked, ‘Do you want a baby?’ He knew we had applied [to adopt]. We said, ‘yes!’” A week later, Munsch and his wife, Ann Beeler, took Andrew home. (All of Munsch’s children, Julie, Andrew, and Tyya, appear in his work. You’ll find them in Andrew’s Loose Tooth, Something Good, David’s Father, and Makeup Mess.)
His previous CD, Love You Forever, features 13 stories. On the title track, Munsch sings the refrain that has brought tears to millions of mothers’ eyes: I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always, as long as I’m living, my baby you’ll be.
Most of the stories were recorded before live audiences of children. Inspired by Munsch’s fast-paced style and zany vocal effects, the kids join in—yelling out favorite lines and emphasizing repeated phrases. My daughter, Natalie, age six, loves to listen to the CDs and “help” Munsch tell each story.
For more of the stories behind the stories—the when, where, and how that served as inspiration—check out both CDs’ rich liner notes.
Murmel Murmel Munsch! and Love You Forever: The Best of Robert Munsch ($13.98 each; Children’s Group) are available at adoptivefamilies.com/books.
Kay Marner is a mother by birth and adoption. She works at the public library in Ames, Iowa.
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