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The Paper Bag Princess - Book Review

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by Jennifer Muirhead (subscribe)
I am learning all the time. The tombstone will be my diploma. ~ Eartha Kitt
Published February 11th 2013
The Paper Bag Princess, Robert Munsch, Michael Martchenko, princess story, non traditional princess story

The Paper Bag Princess was written by prolific Canadian children's author Robert Munsch and illustrated by Michael Martchenko. It's a fairy tale with a twist and this princess is no passive Disney princess waiting in a tower to be rescued by a prince.

Princess Elizabeth thought she had it made. She was all set to marry the handsome Prince Ronald when along came a dragon who not only burned down her castle but also all of the princess' clothes before carrying off the prince. Refreshingly, instead of just moping, Princess Elizabeth puts on a paper bag as a makeshift dress and sets off to get her fiancÚ back. She manages to beat the dragon through trickery only to find that Prince Roland is unimpressed with her unkempt appearance. Princess Elizabeth realises that Prince Ronald was not worth all that trouble and declares that she will not marry him after all.

It was great to find a children's book that encouraged children to use their brains, rather than violence to solve a problem. It also shows that girls can shape their own destinies and that there are qualities worth having besides being beautiful even if you're a princess.

I'm sure that children will enjoy this subversive fairy tale, but it's probably even more appealing to parents, particularly those of us who regularly read stories to little girls obsessed with princesses, pink, and all things girly. A change is as good as a holiday as they say. There is not a trace of pink in any of the illustrations, but if your little person can get past that they will hopefully learn to love the frizzy haired, resourceful little princess.

Rated: 9/10
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Why? For parents who are sick of Disney Princesses
When: Any time
Your Comment
Great story!!! ... I was reading this to my class of 5-8 year olds 30 years ago. They loved it and was one of the most favoured stories in my personal "Class Library"... along with "Princess Pam Fell Into the Jam" and similar tales :-) Thanks... brought back lots of happy memories.
by caiteile (score: 1|41) 2690 days ago
Love this book. Its such a refreshing change to the usual "happily ever after". An unexpected ending.9/10.
by loutr (score: 1|31) 2690 days ago
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