Nfld. & Labrador

Munsch meets Labrador family who inspired book

A Labrador community offered a warm embrace to an internationally acclaimed author who visited this weekend to launch a new children's book based on a fishing trip he made there two decades ago.

Story based on a 1991 ice-fishing trip he made to Rigolet

A Labrador community offered a warm embrace to an internationally acclaimed author who visited this weekend to launch a new children's book based on a fishing trip he made there two decades ago.

"I'm excited but scared because I've never seen anyone so famous before, "said eight-year-old Rigolet, Labrador, resident Megan Allen before Robert Munsch arrived in her hometown.

Munsch's new book, called Give Me Back My Dad, is the story of a girl on an ice fishing trip in Rigolet, who is caught by a fish herself.

It's based on a fishing trip Munsch made in Rigolet with Megan's mother Cheryl Allen and Megan's grandfather Roger Shiwak.

"I remember at the time I thought this could be a book," said Munsch.

Shiwak had the same thought.

"We often wondered if it would come into print," he told CBC News.

 

Cheryl, who was 12 when she fished with Munsch, remembers the trip well, but she didn't believe she'd ever see him in Rigolet again.

"I never thought that he would come back to our small town now that he's as famous as he is, I didn't think he'd ever have the time to come back here," she said. "My eight-year-old [Megan] is going around telling all her friends, all her teachers, 'My mom and grandpa are in this book,'" she said.

Megan was thrilled to finally meet Munsch.

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"It's a good story and Robert Munsch is my favorite storyteller. He signed my book. It's really special to me," she said.

Her mother found the visit moving, too.

"It's so overwhelming. It's so exciting. The whole town is very excited. It's something that I'll have forever. Everybody here is pretty proud. We can't believe that our small town is put on the map like this. Everybody knows where Rigolet is because of this book," she said.

While he was in Rigolet, Munsch told a new story about two local boys who couldn't swim. Now people are hopeful that story might someday end up in print, too.