The Paper Bag Princess

The Paper Bag Princess

Book rating: 05 Paperback Munsch for Kids

By (author) Robert Munsch, Illustrated by Michael Martchenko

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  • Publisher: Annick Press Ltd
  • Format: Paperback | 32 pages
  • Dimensions: 190mm x 208mm x 4mm | 100g
  • Publication date: 31 December 1996
  • Publication City/Country: Ontario
  • ISBN 10: 0920236162
  • ISBN 13: 9780920236161
  • Illustrations note: 16 colour illus
  • Sales rank: 401

Product description

First published in 1980 and with over four million copies in print, The Paper Bag Princess (the story of a resourceful princess and her useless prince) has captured the hearts of readers young and old all around the world. The New York Times called it ""one of the best children's books ever written"" and it has appeared countless times on ""best books"" lists. The story reverses the ""princess and dragon"" folklore stereotype and celebrates feisty females everywhere, making it a firm favourite with female readers of all ages, as well as women's groups, teachers and librarians.

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Author information

Robert Munsch is a best-selling children's author, with over 30 million books sold in over a dozen languages.

Customer reviews

By Nadja 16 Jun 2014 5

At first, the story looks like any other fairy tale. There is a princess, a prince and a dragon, typical fairy tale characters; however, this is not your classical fairy tale. Thank god for that. Stories where princesses are waiting to be rescued by charming princes and are so delicate and helpless that they might faint any moment, are really getting old. This one is different, all the pieces of fairy tales are there (big bad dragon, a prince, a princess, a castle, the rescue and cunning) but the way they are put together is something different, something new and fresh.
The language is smooth and the characters are well developed. The author managed to create real, picturesque characters with only a few lines. Forget about Snow White, Cinderella and Aurora who get their happy ending not because they are particularly smart or because they had worked hard for it but because they are beautiful, that is all. What an accomplishment. This is not what we want to teach our children. The Paper Bag Princess gives us a real heroine. The main character is strong, clever and independent, a great role model for girls and boys.
The story is appropriate for children between ages 3 to 8, but even I as a grown up enjoyed reading the story. I think that has a lot to do with the story itself, characters, wonderful illustrations and humor. Humor is what gives the story that kick, children and adults alike would appreciate it greatly. The story has an interesting and unexpected ending and it makes you say: “High five.”
The story comes to life with the help of expressive illustrations: the snobbish prince, the mean and not very clever dragon and one determined princess. The illustrations are playful with a dose of funny. Nicely done.

By Breda Meža 10 Jun 2014 5

Judging by the title, The Paper Bag Princess looks just like another fairy tale princess story about a poor girl who meets a prince and in the end they live happily ever after. However, the real story begins when the reader discovers a unique heroin. The story begins as a picture perfect fairy tale where Elizabeth, a beautiful princess, is about to marry her prince charming but then a dragon comes along and everything changes. Instead of taking the princess, as it happens in any other princess story, the dragon carries Prince Ronald off to his cave.

The idea of a strong heroin is what makes this story so powerful. She outsmarts the dragon and saves her prince, while wearing only a paper bag (ironically this is the only thing that didn�´t get burnt). She doesn�´t need a horse, an armour and a sword to fight the villain. And just when you think that there will be a usual â??happily ever afterâ?? ending, the author adds another twist to the story.

Martachenkoâ??s amuzing illustrations really create the illusion of a determined princess and a stuck-up prince. I believe that this book is appropriate for all children, regardless of the gender, as it shows that even if a â??dragonâ?? comes along and takes everything that you care about, you can still make a change and have your own â??happily ever afterâ??.

Review quote

One of the best princess stories ever told, Elizabeth turns the princess stereotype on its head, empowering young girls to be true to themselves.--Elizabeth Shaffer"BC Parent" (10/01/2005)