Robert Munsch Biography

Biography

While Robert Munsch’s juvenile audiences certainly enjoy his stories, and adults have made the sentimental Love You Forever (1986) a best-seller, a number of Munsch’s books have been targeted by Canadian censors. The use of the word “pee,” for example, has created problems for I Have to Go! (1987) and Pigs (1989), while a pig urinating on a school principal’s shoes has caused the latter book to be charged with “showing disrespect to adults.” Administrators in Lloydminster, Saskatchewan, felt their authority undermined by Thomas’ Snowsuit (1985), in which a male principal and female teacher accidentally switch clothes. Some parents described The Paper Bag Princess (1980) as “antifamily” because, at story’s end, the princess refuses to marry the prince. Giant, or Waiting for the Thursday Boat (1989), which portrays God as a little girl, cannot be read to children in Ontario’s Middlesex County schools “because of the book’s religious implications.” Giant was also labeled “violent,” because the central character, Ireland’s largest giant, threatens to “pound him [God] til he looks like applesauce.” An Inuit cautionary tale, A Promise Is a Promise (1988), coauthored with Michael Kusugak, has been incorrectly accused of containing reference to witches. Finally, Good Families Don’t (1990), the story of a young girl’s attempts to remove a “great big purple, green and yellow fart” from her bedroom, has likely been subjected to the silent censorship hidden within the school library selection process.