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The Paper Bag Princess (Classic Munsch)
Format: PaperbackChange
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
If you are looking for a book with a smart heroine with common sense who doesn't just wait for her prince to save her, you will have trouble beating Elizabeth, the Paper Bag princess. In this story Elizabeth is betrothed to a prince named Ronald. When a dragon comes along and smashes her castle, burns her clothes and carries off Ronald, Elizabeth doesn't just sit crying in the ashes, but decides to go save her love Ronald. Sadly all she can find to wear is a paper bag, so she dons that and follows the trail of burnt forests and horses bones left in the dragon's wake. Through several tricks Elizabeth manages to outwit the dragon and incapacitate him. Ronald however, doesn't seem to appreciate her efforts. His warm welcome to Elizabeth goes something like this: "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." What makes this book one of the best books written is Elizabeth's response "Ronald, your clothes are really pretty and your hair is very neat. You look like a real prince, but you are a bum."

The illustrations are wonderful. They are bright, colorful, bold and expressive. The dragon is exactly as I would imagine a dragon to look like. The story is told in a very straightforward, simple manner that endears it to me.

Loggie-log-log-log
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on May 14, 2000
I've been reading Munsch since childhood - but re-reading this book for a Children's Lit course was a delight. This book sets a fine example for children (and adults) about the value of role reversal and what it can teach us about the divide between the sexes. In theory, this is too complex for children to understand, yet it does send the message to children that girls can be heroes, too. And unlike the siliconed, pancaked Bond girls, the Paper Bag Princess comes through in fine style.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on May 29, 2011
I love the idea of a strong female character - especially given when this was initially published. It kind of turns the classic "damsel in distress" on its head, where the princess saves the prince.
I also liked that the princess had to out-smart the dragon - she succeeded by using her brain.
That's what I liked....

But, I think I would have liked this a lot better had it only been about the dragon, or only been about the relationship with the prince - but I didn't like them both together because one seemed to undermine the other.
(without giving away the end I can't really explain - but it's kind of a "if the princess is so smart, then how come...")
I also thought it was kind of bad that in her attempt to outsmart the dragon, she egged him to destroy 100 forests. Now, I know this is a fantasy, but still - obviously this was written during the women's lib age, but pre the "go green" age ;-) Either way though, it seemed a little selfish of the princess.
And, the only thing that didn't burn up was a paper bag... I'm sure it was supposed to be funny, but.. . for me, it was more annoying.

The illustrations are fun! Though I wasn't overly impressed with the story telling.
I've friends love this book, and I've enjoyed other Munsch work, but this one just fell flat for me.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on August 30, 2014
I like the actual book, however I was not expecting this to the smaller than the palm of my hand. I have never until now thought it was necessary to look at the dimensions of a book when making a purchase online. The worst part about the order is that It actually costs more to send the book back than to purchase the book so I am basically stuck with this ridiculously small book that I can do nothing with. I am very disappointed that this book is even sold on amazon and that there was no mention in the description other than the dimensions on the fact that it is microscopic.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on November 16, 1999
A reverse of the "prince rescues the princess" theme with all the right messages: brains over brawn; "girl power"; appearances are a poor measure of a person's character.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on April 20, 2014
These books are so tiny it's beyond words. Look at the measurements before ordering. I'm posting a photo so you can see what it looks like next to a standard pen! Back they go.
review image
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Princess Elizabeth's world gets destroyed by a dragon - her castle is smashed, her clothes are burned, and her Prince is carried off by a dragon.
Does Elizabeth sit back and let the dragon win? Nope.
She puts on a paperbag and heads out to rescue her man. She puts her smarts to good use and defeats the dragon. No violence.
And for her troubles? Ronald yells at her!! What's a Princess to do? She tells him off an skips off into the sunset.
I loved Elizabeth's resoursefulness. I loved how the test of her character showed her that Ronald wasn't the Prince for her. I loved how, instead of weeping over the loss of such an unprincely Prince, she dances off into the sunset.
This book is one of my all-time favorite stories.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on July 21, 2006
I read this story to my son, 3.5 years old and avid dragon lover. I received this book as a young girl and loved the book because I believed it asserted the princess' independence. As I now read it to my son, I think it relays a different message, people who love you will do anything for you . . . and you need to appreciate it! My son understood that the princess did what she did for love of the prince and at all costs . . . without me telling him! Great story.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on December 12, 2002
I received this book as a baby shower present. It was my daughter's first book, and I read it to her frequently for years. I love this book because its message empowers girls to seek their own destiny, to think and act for themselves and to question the roles others may impose upon them. I strongly suggest it to every young woman out there who may fall prey to "traditional" fairy tales.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on October 5, 2002
Years ago in graduate school, I received this book as I was completing my studies in Workplace Diversity and thoroughly enjoyed it. All these years later, I have just finished reading this to my 6 year old daughter, and appreciate the lesson of the book even more. Regardless of your child's gender, this simple story about finding one's self esteem is terrific.
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