The Paper Bag Princess

paperbag princess 1Do you want to teach your daughter to stand up for herself?
Read The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch the next time you sit down for a snack or dinner. The story begins with a beautiful princess named Elizabeth that is in love with a prince named Ronald.

paperbag princess 2Everything is perfect until a dragon comes smashes the castle and burns all of the princess’ clothes. The dragon takes the prince and the princess runs off to save him from the evil dragon. The princess has lost everything and only has a paper bag to wear.

The princess taunts and teases the dragon by making him to use up all of his fire and fly around the world twice so she can save her beloved prince. The dragon gets so tired, he will not wake up! She seizes the opportunity to save her beloved Ronald from the dragon’s castle. When she walks into the castle to save him, he says to her “Elizabeth, you are 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.”

paperbag princess 3

What do you think the princess does? Does she go take a shower and get changed into more proper clothes? Nope! She tells him this, “Ronald, your clothes are really pretty and your hair is really neat. You look like a real prince, but you are bum.” They never did get married after all!

I loved this story because of many reasons. I think it is an empowering story of a woman standing up for herself but also saving the prince herself. In most fairy tales, it is the prince saving the princess and I liked how the author changed these roles around to reflect the strength and power of a woman. This book can be an excellent way to discuss empowerment, treating others with respect and being brave and respectful. Discuss with your child why Elizabeth doesn’t marry Prince Ronald and how she might have felt when he was mean to her upon saving him.

Are you a teacher? Check out this lesson plan here.

Do you want to watch a video of the Paper Bag Princess? Check it out here…


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