As we prepare to celebrate Canada Day, do you know which best-loved children’s authors are Canadians? I’m sure you recognize this one.
Robert Munsch is perhaps the most wildly popular Canadian storyteller today. Adored by children and adults alike for his zany and energetic storytelling skills, he and illustrator Michael Marchenko skills have a way of bringing everyday situations alive making them into life-shattering events.
Many of the children in the first group of students I ever taught were not very interested in books until I read them Mortimer. Day after day, we read Mortimer. They memorized it, chanted along with it, and learned many of their first words in English from this very story.
It was war. Everyone wanted Mortimer. Everyone could ‘read’ Mortimer, whether or not they could speak full sentences in English, read more than three sight or four sight words. They were hooked.
It wasn’t long before I was able to throw on a cassette (yes I’ve been teaching for 19 years) of Robert Munsch telling stories and buy myself five minutes of my young charges joyfully chanting along while I unbundled myself from yard duty, found a pen or my attendance folder, dealt with parents at the door or the kindergarten or grade one crisis du jour. Robert Munsch did, in fact, save my sanity for my first three years as a new teacher.
So as we celebrate Canada Day today, I raise an icy tumbler to my storytelling savior, Sir Robert Munsch. Thank you, Sir, for choosing Canada as an adult. We’re happy to have you!
|Click this image to hear|
I will write again this week about Canadian children’s authors. Do you have any favorites? Who and why?
Happy Canada Day!
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