Sunday, January 9, 2011

Book # 4 The Paper Bag Princess

When I think of hilarious, easy reads for children, one of my favorite books that springs to mind is Robert Munsch's, The Paper Bag Princess. In this unique fairytale, Princess Elizabeth is set to marry a handsome prince named Ronald. But before their happily-ever-after can take place, Prince Ronald is kidnapped by a fierce dragon, and is set to become dragon chow.

"So what does this unique princess do?" you ask. She sets off in a paperbag dress- as all of her beautiful clothes are ruined-to save the day. And after she outwits the daft dragon, she goes to her beloved prince, Ronald.

The hilarious twist is what happens next. Ronald-who is unlike the dreamy princes in most fairytales-tells Princess Elizabeth that she will have to come back to save him when she is dressed like a REAL princess. To which she replies " Ronald! Your hair is nice. You look like a prince. But you are a BUM." And the story ends with a twist on fairytale endings. "They didn't get married after all."

This book makes the mom and closeted feminist in me cheer (more below). For centuries, women have been told that they must rely on men to take care of them. But this fairytale book has the female main character being the hero. And it also sends the very subtle message that 'if your prince is a bum', then don't get married. For that reason alone, I give this book a high five. And, surprisingly, my three year old son gives it a high five, too. He likes the daft dragon and feisty princess. He doesn't really care about the societal impact. It's one of his favorite bedtime books.

*I must clarify the feminist comment. I simply mean that I like stories that portray females as strong, independent main characters. Most fairy tales do not, and the damsel in distress bit is getting old. Not that I don't like the usual fairytales-because I do. I just applaud books that show a different side to the typical fairytale.


  1. *clap* *clap* I have to join you in the whole "I like storiesthat portray a strong, independent female character...we all aren't helples girly girls! I am tired of how we indoctrinate our little girls! I am so out of the clique..I like boy toys. I like a comfy jeans and t-shirt. I only have 2 pair of shoes lol

  2. Robert Munsch is one of my favorites! I read his books over and over and over to my kids! Christy

  3. This is a great fairy tale. I'm amazed how many takes writers can make on fairy tales. I hear Disney are not making any more fairy tale movies as people have moved on from the conventional helpless heroine.

  4. That's funny that you should mention that, Aussie. I just recently went to the movies to see Tangled-a retelling of the old Rapunzel tale-and in this story, she doesn't wait around for someone to climb her hair. Someone does climb up her tower. But then, she takes him hostage and makes him help her. I rather liked it. And my boys, really enjoyed this version. I think Disney beefed this tale up to attract a broader audience, and it worked. It ended up beating out Mega Mind in the box office(I think). And the thing is, it wasn't even listed as a movie to watch. Critics only suggested that people go see Megamind. We went to see it twice. My boys loved it!

  5. Love, LOVE this book! This is one of those books that makes me die of envy that I didn't write it myself!