Monday, January 26, 2009

our family literacy event

Unknowingly, we chose the perfect time to visit the Bookman with our grands over the weekend. It was Friday evening...and the Bookman was in preparation mode for a huge family literacy event the next day.

Robert Munsch was the feature author...and his books were on display everywhere. It took only minutes until they had each found their favorite Munsch tale...

...and we settled down for story time.

How fun that Emme and Spencer can now read for brings them great joy!

Ryder wandered off to look for the cat...every bookstore has one, right?

Ranen wasn't about to let go of the kitty book she had picked out...but just had to check out what was on all those adult shelves. One hour later...we left with a few Robert Munsch books to take home with us...and everybody was happy.

It's Family Literacy Week here in Canada...and to kick off the week's event our community participated in an attempt to break a Guiness world reading record of some sort. Schools, libraries, literacy groups, families, YMCAs and other organizations all read Munschworks 2 ( a collection of five Robert Munsch stories)...and that was what was about to happen at the Bookman the morning after our visit. Over 190,000 Canadians signed up to participate and break the U.S. record of 78,791 adults and children reading together. We were not signed up...we are not into breaking any records...but we had a fine time reading Munsch to our little munchkins.

I must admit I knew very little about 'our' most famous Canadian author. I mostly knew him as the author of "Love You Forever"...a most beautiful children's story, and one I have given as a gift on several occasions. Munsch’s stories are the most beloved works of Canadian children’s literature of all time, and his books (over 50 of them) have sold more than 30 million copies worldwide. Here's the thing...he was actually an American...but moved to Canada at age 30 to work at the University of Guelph, Ontario. He is now the number one selling Canadian author of all time and a member of the Order of Canada.

As I was about to do this post...I checked out his website and read his biography...and had a good laugh. (Check out his biography right here.) Now I know why kids like him...he is just too funny!

I think he might even see the humour in my little story. When our twin granddaughters were about two years old, I decided I needed to add some reading material to Grammy's library, and ordered the Munschworks Grand Treasury. This rather large book has (or had) fifteen of Munsch's favorite children's stories. At the time I bought the book, I was really only familiar with "I Love You Forever"...and found most of the stories in my new storybook a little zany...especially for two-year-olds. The girls, however, immediately decided that it was their favorite book...and their favorite story was one Grammy didn't think quite appropriate. Rather than hide the book...I found a solution.

My treasury now has fouteen stories instead of fifteen (and a wee fringe of paper where pages 55 through 75 once were)...and I never get asked to read "I Have to Go" anymore! I do have two girls who think it is all quite funny though.

In honour of literacy week...let's all do some reading this week. I found an Elizabeth Goudge book at the Bookman...and since I have never read any books by that author...I am looking forward to checking out her historical novel. Go read a may be contagious...and we'll all do our part to promote literacy!

Have fun reading...

P.S. For those who are wondering what ever became of the son with pneumonia...he is doing A-Okay! Right now he is on two weeks of bed-rest...but I don't think he has any idea what that means. Thanks to all of you who prayed for him when he was so very sick!


  1. I am so glad to hear that your son is doing better... sometimes I think the order of "bedrest" is given so that people feel they have permission to take it easy and give their driveness a rest. I will be interested to hear your thoughts on your new author...

  2. I've tucked 'Love you Forever' into many a baby shower gift. My daughter loved Munsch too - especially the slightly icky ones!...and there's more than the one you removed from your book!

  3. Oh awesome job on being in on literacy week. Someday they will say. . .were we in that world record with and you can say almost.
    I so smiled when I saw grammies solution to inapropriate material.
    I'm going to try to get a bit of reading in as well this week.

  4. Bed-rest? That's a tough one. I'm not surprised that he doesn't quite understand the concept.

    Oh this author does sound like fun. Of course, I adore his "Love You Forever" book and now must find the others, though I can tell that perhaps I should be careful. I love Shel Silverstein, but have similar "problems" with his work from time to time.

    Yay for such great readers in the camp. How wonderful that Emme and Spencer are that they enjoy reading to Ryder and Ranen, too. BTW, Ranen's boots are terrific!

    Off to follow your link...

  5. What a great idea: introducing those little ones to books. It looks like such a fun idea and what a better way than a special outing.
    I love Robert Munsch and I actually read a clip from his book, Loved Forever, at my son's wedding....
    So happy that the big boy is beginning to get better.

  6. Interesting to read of a Canadian author.
    So glad your son is improving. He is obviously getting better when you can't keep him in bed.

  7. I have a fond memory of my son and Robert Munsch's 'Love you Forever". I find it interesting how kids are drawn to these stories. Sounds like such a fun outing with your grands.

  8. It looked like the bookstore trip was a great success. Don't you love going with the kids? They are so cute. I'm so glad your son is doing better. Praise the Lord!

  9. Hi Judy!

    Thanks so much for introducing this author to me! I am always looking for good books to buy for my grandson, and I never heard of him or his best selling book. I went to his web site and had to laugh at his very long bio! What a character he is! I guess that is why he writes for children so well --he has a vivid imagination. His reason for writing "Love You Forever" is so sad. Is it a sad or happy book? I must tell all the teachers in my family about it also.

    We are big readers so I always have a book in progress, and so do my children. I'm sure Leo will love reading someday too. He already owns quite a lot of books :-)

    Glad to hear Jeremy is continuing to heal and feel better. Make sure he rests and allows his immune system to get back to normal! Tell him this nurse in NY is insisting he take it easy and do as the doctor tells him :-)

  10. I'm so pleased to learn that your son is doing better and is on the mend. Pneumonia takes a lot out of a person and it takes a little while to be 100% again.

    I laughed about how you handled the "inappropriate" story in the book. Reminds me of an actual book I read several years ago which was written in diary form. The woman (narrative voice of the story) had torn pages from her diary that she didn't want her husband to read. The book actually had blank pages with torn edges inked on to represent the torn-out pages. Very effective!

  11. Interesting piece Judy. I did not know about your famous author Robert Munsch, except for the one book "Love You Forever" I will have to give the other books some careful checking into :]

    Thanks for the update on your son. Glad his recovery is going well.

    I am curious about which E.G. book you are reading? I have a stash of her books that I have been reading this winter.


'The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it.'
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson