The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch. Illustrated by Michael Martchenko. Book Review.

This has become a classic and for good reason. Munsch has written some awful books and some that will live long after he is gone. This is one of the latter.

Elizabeth is going to marry prince named Ronald but a dragon carries him off and leaves her with nothing to wear but a paper bag. She tracks down the dragon and, appealing to his vanity, tricks him into burning down forests and flying around the world until he is exhausted. Once he is sound asleep, Elizabeth rescues Ronald. The ungrateful Prince Ronald says, “Elizabeth, you are a mess! You smell like ashes, your hair is all tangled and you are wearing a dirty old paper bag. Come back when you are dressed like a real princess.” Elizabeth responds, “Your clothes are really pretty and your hair is very neat. You look like a real prince, but you are a bum.” They don’t get married after all.

I love the character Elizabeth. I love the way she tells it like it is. I love how she doesn’t make excuses for the prince. (His job is really stressful. His father, the king is always on his case.) I love the way she dances into the sunrise at the end, totally happy to be without a prince. Shouldn’t every girl feel that confident and independent?

The only exception I take this book is that, in order to exhaust the dragon, Elizabeth manipulates him into burning up fifty forests and then one hundred more.

Every child who loves princesses or dragons should own a copy of this book.

BUY The Paper Bag Princess (Munsch for Kids)

Bonnie Ferrante: Books For All Ages

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