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The Paper Bag Princess by Robert N. Munsch

The Paper Bag Princess (1980)

by Robert N. Munsch

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I thought the “Paper Bag Princess” was very interesting and unpredictable. Specifically speaking, I think children would find humor in the story’s plot. Since the plot is unpredictable, children would enjoy reading about a princess that wears a paper bag, rather than a long, fancy ball gown. Furthermore, this story would be a great example to use in order to have children predict what will happen next. Since it is unlike most fairytales, the prince and princess do not marry. Instead, the princess has her own happily ever after. Readers would also enjoy the illustrations in this story because they depict the humorous writing so well. Some of these illustrations include: the princess in her ragged and torn paper bag, the sleepy dragon that breathes fire, and the tidy prince that the princess saves. The central idea of this story serves to the fact that not all stories end the way we expect them to. It can still be a happy ending, just a different one. ( )
  Ebutzn1 | Nov 26, 2014 |
In my opinion, this is a great book. I liked this book because of the plot and the character Elizabeth. The story is a great twist on a traditional fairy tale. There is a happy ending, just not the happy ending most people expect. When a dragon destroys Elizabeth’s castle and steals Prince Ronald, Elizabeth jumps into action to save him. Elizabeth couldn't find any clothes that weren't burnt, so she ended up wearing a paper bag. After cleverly tricking the dragon, Elizabeth saves Ronald. Prince Ronald was not impressed, “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.” Instead of getting upset and trying to clean herself up, Elizabeth realized Ronald is not who he seemed. “‘Ronald,’ said Elizabeth, ‘your clothes are really pretty and your hair is very neat. You look like a real prince, but you are a bum.’ They didn't get married after all.” I like the plot because the girl is the one who saves the day. The prince was the helpless one in this story. The ending was not what I expected it to be, but I was pleasantly surprised. I liked Elizabeth because of her courage. She was not afraid to face down the dragon. I also like Elizabeth because of her intelligence. She didn't need strength and a sword to beat the dragon; she outsmarted him. I also like how Elizabeth did not get upset about not marrying Ronald. Instead, the last illustration shows Elizabeth happily running off into the sunset. The big idea of this story is that people are not always as they seem. Even though a person has fancy clothes and nice hair, it doesn't mean that they are a nice person. ( )
  Chawki6 | Nov 2, 2014 |
Summary: In this book, Princess Elizabeth was going to marry Prince Ronald. However, one day a dragon came and smashed her castle, burned her clothes, and stole Prince Ronald. Elizabeth decided to save Ronald, but the only thing that wasn't burned was a brown paper bag. Elizabeth put that on and followed the path of burned down trees. Once she got there, Elizabeth tricked the dragon into showing her how fierce he was by burning down 100 forests and he ended up using all of his fire. Then Elizabeth asked the dragon to fly around the world in 10 seconds, he obliged and then flew around in 20 seconds after that. The dragon was so tired when he got back that so he went right to sleep. Elizabeth went to get Ronald after that, but Ronald told her to come back when she cleaned herself up. Elizabeth decided that Ronald wasn't worth that and left him there.

Review: I thought this book has the main message that it is important not to settle for someone who does not appreciate things and that girls can take care of themselves. In this book, Ronald told Elizabeth that she looked like a mess and to clean up before she came back to get him. Instead of giving in to him, Elizabeth left him there. Therefore, I think it is important to show that Elizabeth did not settle for Ronald, especially since he didn't even thank her for rescuing him from the dragon. This book also shows that Elizabeth was able to save Ronald without the help from anyone. Many books are told from the viewpoint that girls need boys to rescue them, however, this book showed how Elizabeth was able to rescue Ronald without help. I think this is an important lesson for children because they should know that they can do things by themselves and that it is important to have others appreciate what you do for them. ( )
  jbaile14 | Oct 25, 2014 |
For some reason I delayed reading this, even though it always hit the "feminist takes on fairy tales" lists. It was okay, though, because I got to read it with my 5yo, and have a scouting troop act it out (some where the dragons! some were the princesses!).

Anyway, funny as all of Munsch's books are, and yes, feminist, and highly recommended. ( )
  lquilter | Oct 21, 2014 |
I loved this modern take on a classic fairytale. My favorite aspect of the book was that it pushed the reader to think differently about girls. Many times in fairytales the girl is portray as a princess who is unable to defend herself or be the hero. In The Paper Bag Princess, Elizabeth not only saves herself she outsmarts the dragon and tries to save her prince. She is depicted as smart, brave and the hero. I think this gives the reader a much better image and idea of girls and their independence. Piggybacking off that, I really enjoyed the main character, Elizabeth. In the story she comes to save her prince and he tells her she is dirty, wearing an ugly paper bag, and smells then tells her to come back and rescue her when she’s dressed like a “real princess.” Elizabeth stands up for herself and tells him that while he may look nice on the outside he is a bum. Elizabeth remains independent, and is smart, and kind. She is a great role model character for the readers. Finally I really liked the illustrations in the book. They are colorful and match the text very well. One of my favorite illustrations is when the dragon is burning up the forests. The entire page is red, orange and yellow and the colors reflect on the dragon and Elizabeth. I think this helps the reader see how large the fire is and how much fire the dragon is using up. The big idea/message in this story is sometimes people are not what they seem and that you must stand up for yourself as Elizabeth did. ( )
  EmilyBeer | Oct 14, 2014 |
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To Elizabeth
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Elizabeth was a beautiful princess.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0920236162, Paperback)

Elizabeth, a beautiful princess, lives in a castle and wears fancy clothes. Just when she is about to marry Prince Ronald, a dragon smashes her castle, burns her clothes with his fiery breath, and prince-naps her dear Ronald. Undaunted and presumably unclad, she dons a large paper bag and sets off to find the dragon and her cherished prince. Once she's tracked down the rascally reptile, she flatters him into performing all sorts of dragonly stunts that eventually exhaust him, allowing her to rescue Prince Ronald. But what does Prince Not-So-Charming say when he sees her? "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." (At least he has the courtesy not to mention that the princess's crown resembles a dying sea anemone.) In any case, let's just say that Princess Elizabeth and Prince Ronald do not, under any circumstances, live happily ever after. Canadian author Robert Munsch celebrates feisty females everywhere with this popular favorite, and Michael Martchenko's scratchy, comical, pen-and-ink drawings capture the tongue-in-cheek quality of this read-aloud crowd pleaser. (Ages 4 to 8) --Karin Snelson

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:23:38 -0400)

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Elizabeth decides to chase the dragon and get Ronald back.

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Annick Press

Six editions of this book were published by Annick Press.

Editions: 0920236162, 0920236251, 0920236820, 1550370987, 1550373919, 1554512115

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