Drew & Kate: Tall Tales


Give Me Back My Dad!

The Story Behind Robert Munsch's Latest Book

Father's Day is rapidly approaching and we have the perfect book to talk about: the brand new picture book "Give Me Back My Dad!" by Robert Munsch and Michael Martchenko. Not only is this a fun read, there is also an entertaining story behind it.

Scholastic Canada recently held the "Pick-A-Munsch" contest where readers could vote for the storyline of Robert Munsch's next book, his 30th book published with Scholastic. Three storyline options were given, each set in a different area of Canada. After close to 170,000 votes were tallied, the winner was "Give Me Back My Dad!", set in Rigolet, Labrador a small fishing village with a population of about 300 people.

In "Give Me Back My Dad!", a young girl named Cheryl goes ice fishing with her dad. Things don't go as planned however; as the fish are surprisingly smart. Are Cheryl and her dad trying to catch fish or are the fish trying to catch them? The origin of the story goes back 20-years when Robert Munsch went ice fishing with a 12-year-old girl named Cheryl and her father while he was in Rigolet for a school visit. Inspired by the trip, he came up with the story for "Give Me Back My Dad!" and told it live for many years. It has never been released in book form until now.

To celebrate the launch of the book, Munsch traveled back to Rigolet and was reunited with Cheryl, now a mother of two daughters, and her father Roger Shiwak. A community dinner was held in his honour with some of the local school children performing his stories in 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.

Now that you know the story behind book, go pick up "Give Me Back My Dad!". It's one of our favourite Munsch books of recent years.

Now go read a book with your kids...

Photos courtesy of Scholastic Canada