Book Review~Paper Bag Princess

Robert Munsch’s Paper Bag Princess

Synopsis:  An ordinary princess learns just how extraordinary she really is.

Genere:  Children’s Fairytale

Book Cover

What Critics Thought:  Highly acclaimed and beloved book, originally published April 1980 and is endorsed by the National Organization of Women.  It has an average rating of 4.2 on both Goodreads and Amazon.

Why I read it: I was out at a birthday breakfast with my sister from another mother, M and her two year old daughter, H.  H had been drinking more apple juice then eating pancakes, so M was trying to get her to back off the juice.  Just like any typical two year old, H would place the cup onto the table only to pick it right back up once the adult eyes had left her. After getting bored with the cup game, she resolved to just holding it with a death grip and ignored all direction from her mother to put the cup down and eat.  Falling back to my days as a toddler teacher, a good one at that, I began to redirect H asking her, “Can you put the cup onto the table like a pretty princess?” This elicited a huge smile, and the cup found its home onto the table.  Nothing trumps the sweetness of juice better than being called a princess.

As we continued on with breakfast, I began to get annoyed with myself for resorting to the pretty princess trick.  Sure, H blessed with blond hair, baby blue eyes and a petite frame could have a future career as a professional Disney Princess-but she also could wield a ninja sword just as well as a fairy’s wand.  Pretty? Absolutely.  However this petite pixie is as fierce and sassy as they come!  She’s not a Pretty Princess, she’s a Paper Bag Princess.  H had inspired me to reread the book that changed the definition of Princess.

What I thought:  I love it.  Paper Bag Princess is a wonderful book to read to your princess dressing, converse wearing, tree climbing, sword wielding little girls! Pretty Princess Elizabeth meets Handsome Prince Ronald,and wishes for nothing more than to get married and live happily ever after…NOT! Along comes a dragon who steals the useless prince and the rest is pure magic.  The antithesis to the classic Princess role, the story’s main character, Elizabeth, becomes the hero…errr…heroine when she sets off to rescue her prince, donning a paper bag because, well the dragon destroyed all her clothes! It’s a simple book that reinforces girls are just as brave, intelligent, and ingenious as boys..if not more so!

Princesses are more than pretty hair and colorful dresses! Elizabeth gives us all a quick lesson on true beauty-defined by how you see yourself and not by what the Ronalds of the world think!

P.S. Great book for boys too!


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