Canadian Booksellers Association's 1991 Author of the Year and Best-selling children's author, Robert Munsch, has written over 50 books inspired by his kids and the children he meets. His books feature young characters with big personalities in zany situations and make great read-alouds thanks to his dramatic sense of storytelling.
The Paper Bag Princess
Recommended for preschoolers, The Paper Bag Princess is a 32-page picture book with an AD740L Lexile Measure. In this story, the main character, Princess Elizabeth, takes on an un-princess-like role when she must save the prince she's meant to marry. Readers can forget those princess stereotypes because Elizabeth defies them all when she outsmarts the naughty dragon to free Prince Ronald. Illustrator Michael Martchenko adds to the gritty nature of the story with drab colors and dingy detailed drawings. Grab a paper copy for around $7 and infuse a little zany girl power into your next story time. According to the publisher, this story is a Gold Award Winner from the National Parenting Publications Awards.
Love You Forever
One of Munsch's most popular books, Love You Forever is a rare departure from silly stories for the author. Preschool readers and their caregivers will love this lyrical read with a Lexile Measure of AD780L. This heart-melting story relates the unconditional love of parents across time and circumstance. Sheila McGraw's soft illustrations help evoke deep emotions in this library staple that sells for around $10. According to Canadian Broadcasting Corp. Radio-Canada, Love You Forever has been the top-selling Canadian book for the past ten years in a row.
Everyone wants to force little Thomas to wear his new snowsuit, but Thomas thinks it's hideous and won't put it on without a fight. Thomas outwits all the adults in his life and comes out grinning in this hilarious picture book for kids in kindergarten through second grade. Illustrator Michael Martchenko once again perfectly captures the exasperated emotions of the grown-ups in this silly story. Thomas' Snowsuit, like much of Munsch's work, is likely to appeal more to kids than adults which is great since it only costs under $2. With a Lexile Measure of 630 and only 24 pages, this is one of the author's shorter stories and winner of the 1986 Ruth Schwartz Award.
All the kids want from the grocery store is "something good," but dad won't buy any of their sugary choices. A clever sales lady pulls a swift trick that gets the whole family exactly what they want. This funny story is perfectly captured in the zany artwork of Michael Martchenko. Something Good sells for about $8 and is best for kids in pre-K through second grade thanks to the Lexile Measure of 450. Readers give this fun book four out of five stars with reviewer David calling it "another offbeat look at family interactions."
Michael Martchenko once again offers active illustrations to Mortimer, one of Munsch's best bedtime books. In this story for kids in pre-K through second grade, Mortimer doesn't want to go to sleep, he wants to sing and be loud. The rest of his household doesn't appreciate his song, but their attempts to get him quiet don't seem to be working. Wil Mortimer ever go to sleep? This hilarious 24-page book costs around $7 and was named one of the 100 best Canadian Kids' Books.
I Have to Go
Potty training is never easy for kids or their parents. In this wild story, Andrew only seems to have to go pee at the most inopportune times. Written to help kids who are dealing with bed-wetting, this short story is great for potty training toddlers or younger elementary kids still struggling with mastering use of the toilet at opportune times. A paperback copy of I Have to Go only costs about $2 and has a Lexile Measure of AD500L. Illustrator Michael Martchenko expertly captures the exaggerated expressions of Andrew and his parents throughout the story further helping families relate to this common occurrence. Readers give the book four and a half out of five stars with one reviewer saying "This is a great book to use in a younger classroom."
A Promise Is a Promise
Michael Martchenko and Robert Munsch pair up to write this Inuit tale illustrated by Vladyana Krykorka. An Inuit girl named Allashua broke a promise to her mom which got her in big trouble with the legendary creatures known as Qallupilluit. She then makes a promise to the creatures to save her own life, but can she find a way to start keeping promises? A Promise is a Promise is a 32-page cautionary tale for kids ages three to five and costs around $8. A review from CM Archive says "It has suspense, magical moments and a most satisfying ending."
With a Lexile Measure of 680L, Smelly Socks is aimed at kids in pre-K through third grade. In the story, Tina has amazing new socks that she wants to wear forever. However, those socks don't stay new forever. What happens when Tina's favorite socks start to stink? Munsch and Martchenko pair up again to give readers a wacky story with wild illustrations. Grab a paperback copy for under $5. Edutaining Kids gives the story an "A" saying "Munsch captures his audience with his trademark hilarious exaggeration and silly 'sound' effects."
Murmel, Murmel, Murmel
"Murmel" is the sound Robin hears coming from under her sandbox. When she finds a baby is the one making the noise, Robin tries to find a suitable home in the neighborhood for the baby. Who will be its new parent? Michael Martchenko's illustrations help capture the selfish spirit of many of Robin's neighbors. Recommended for kids in preschool and up you can get a mini-book version of this funny book about adoption for under $2. Reviewer Mark says the book "is actually a pretty wacky story."
Lauretta needs a new wheelchair, but she won't agree to buy the standard versions. She wants the fastest one on the market, so her parents agree to give it a try. The new wheelchair seems to be a speedy menace until the family relies on it to save the day. This 32-page picture book is great for kids ages three and up. Grab your copy of Zoom! for around $7. Edutaining Kids says this is a must-read because "Children will be smiling all the way through in a fun state of suspense." Faithful Munsch readers will love the updated cartoon look of Michael Martchenko's illustrations.
Young readers will love main character Megan in this crazy story about a girl and her surprising pigs illustrated by Michael Martchenko. Megan thinks pinks aren't smart so, despite warnings from dad, she opens their pen gate to prove her point. However, the pigs are smarter than they look and Megan is left scrambling to get them all back in their pen. With a Lexile Measure of 450L, this funny tale is great for kids ages four to seven. Add Pigs to your library for under $7. In a CM Archive review, Hazel says "Pigs is a read-aloud book and will appeal to children from tiny tots up."
Stories With Humor and Heart
As a storyteller, Robert Munsch's books are best known for their ability to get kids laughing and families relating to his character's problems. With dozens of picture books to his name, there's a Munsch book for nearly any real-life scenario.