My mother was a senior kindergarten teacher for years, so when Robert Munsch showed up at her school unannounced one day, it was like meeting the Beatles. It’s sad and ironic to know he has long battled depression and bipolarity – the amount of joy he’s put into the world means he’s due for some karma.
I visit schools and daycares for free and usually I do not tell them that I am coming. Like on a book tour in California in October, 1997; I looked at a map and figured out that I was going to be near a school that had written me. (I have a really good secretary who keeps track of these things) I decided to drop in. I took along the letter the class had written and showed it to the school secretary. I said, “Look, Ms. Clebanoff in grade 2 asked me to visit.”
I showed the letter to the secretary because one of the jobs of secretaries is to keep weird people out of school and I wanted her to know that I was not a weird person. The secretary decided I was not weird and wanted to call Ms. Clebanoff and tell her that I was coming, but I convinced her to let me just go and knock on the door.
So I went and knocked on the door of Ms. Clebanoff¹s grade 2 and said, “Hi! I’m Bob Munsch. Remember you asked me to come and visit when you wrote me last year?”
Mrs. Clebanoff just stood there and didn’t say anything so I tried again.
I said, “Hi! My name is Bob Munsch and I am from Canada and your class wrote me a letter and asked me to come and visit and I was driving by on the Ventura Freeway and I came by for a visit and do you want me to tell some stories to your class or should I go back to the Ventura Freeway and stop bothering you?”
Mrs. Clebanoff said, “Canada? Bob Munsch??? Stories????”; And then she finally figured it out and yelled, “Kids, drop everything, we have a visitor!”
Then a really neat thing happened. The principal came running in the door and said; “I don¹t believe this! Mr. Munsch, you have to visit the kindergarten. They have just finished a big letter that they started yesterday. It is to you! Why don’t you go and pick it up and it will save them stamps?” So I went to the kindergarten and told stories and got my letter. The kids thought it was very nice of me to come down from Canada to pick up their letter.