So, how much cooler would it be if it was you and your family featured in one of his books? Beyond awesome, I would think. Case in point, take a look at what happened when Robert Munsch was reunited with the inspiration for his latest (his 30th with Scholastic!) book:
Bestselling author Robert Munsch is given a hero’s welcome by the good people of Rigolet, Labrador, where he launched Give Me Back My Dad!, his latest picture book, based on a local family!
Twenty years after visiting a small fishing village in Labrador, Robert Munsch returned to Rigolet in late May to celebrate the release of his 30th book with Scholastic, Give Me Back My Dad! This book was the winner of Scholastic Canada’s Pick-a-Munsch contest, an online vote that took place at http://www.scholastic.ca/ in the fall of 2010. Readers were encouraged to vote for their favourite of three stories set in different areas of Canada. With a groundswell of support driven by local media outlets and enthusiastic fans from Rigolet, a town of approximately 300 people, the charming story about the ice fishing adventure of a young girl and her father secured 43% of the total 170,000 votes!
Munsch was reunited with Roger Shiwak and Cheryl Allen, the father-daughter pair who inspired the story that became Give Me Back My Dad! Cheryl was 12-years-old when she and her father first took Munsch ice fishing; she is now the mother of two young daughters who met him on this visit. After spending the day at the local school, Northern Lights Academy, Munsch strolled the town’s waterside boardwalk (partly constructed out of lumber from the original schoolhouse Munsch visited 20 years ago) with students and staff. He was then the guest of honour at a community dinner, where he got to see some of his own stories performed by the school children in both English and Inuktitut.
Robert Munsch with Cheryl Allen and her daughter, Megan. Robert met Cheryl and her father, Roger Shiwak, almost 20 years ago on a fishing trip in Rigolet, Labrador and they were the inspiration for Give Me Back My Dad!
Four generations of the Shiwak family hosted a family dinner for Robert when he was in Rigolet. Roger Shiwak is the man in the grey sweater.
Munsch walked along the town’s waterside boardwalk with students and staff from Northern Lights Academy. The boardwalk is partly constructed out of lumber from the original schoolhouse Munsch visited 20 years ago.
After a community dinner, the school children from Northern Lights Academy put on a performance for the guests which included drumming, throat singing, and performing some of Munsch’s stories in English and Inuktitut. Munsch then told a few stories to the children.
Give Me Back My Dad!
By Robert Munsch
Illustrations by Michael Martchenko
978-1-4431-0764-8/paperback/for ages 3-8/May 2011
978-1-4431-0763-1/hardcover/for ages 3-8/May 2011
Available to purchase from: Amazon, Chapters
Robert Munsch is Canada’s bestselling author of more than fifty picture books for young readers. His heartwarming and hilarious stories are beloved by children, parents, teachers and booksellers alike. He was recently inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame. Robert lives in Guelph, Ontario. His website is www.robertmunsch.com. Michael Martchenko’s illustrations are as instantly recognizable and lovable as the stories they enhance. In 2006 Michael receive the CBA Children’s Illustrator of the Year Libris Award. He lives in Toronto, Ontario.
Scholastic Canada is the country’s largest publisher and distributor of children’s books. Scholastic creates quality educational and entertaining works for use in school and at home, including children's books, magazines, and teacher materials. The Company distributes its products and services through a variety of channels, including proprietary school-based book clubs and school-based book fairs, retail stores, schools, libraries, and the Company’s Internet Site, http://www.scholastic.ca/.
Photos, captions and all press information are courtesy of Scholastic Canada