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The Paper Bag Princess (Munsch for Kids) Hardcover – May 1, 1980

4.3 out of 5 stars 927 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

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

Review

The tale of a princess who, although faced with adversity, saves the day and wins the prize. A charmingly-illustrated tale of strength for princesses of all ages. (Mari Farthing MetroFamily Magazine)

Some of the best children's books ever written have been about girls -- like The Paper Bag Princess. (New York Times)

A great girl-power story. (Carol Sjostrom Miller Familyfun)

One of the best princess stories ever told, Elizabeth turns the princess stereotype on its head, empowering young girls to be true to themselves. (Elizabeth Shaffer BC Parent)
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool and up
  • Lexile Measure: 740 (What's this?)
  • Series: Munsch for Kids
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Annick Press (May 1, 1980)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0920236820
  • ISBN-13: 978-0920236826
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (927 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #24,081 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This was the first Munsch book that I bought and I quickly went out and bought a whole load more. He's an excellent writer with a wonderful range of stories and a beautifully simple and fluid style of writing that is both accessible to children and able to roll off the tongue of most adults.
As you'll see from the other reviews here, this tale is about a young girl who, filled with nothing but courage, charity and a fair bit of brains, goes off to rescue a young prince from a ferocious dragon. After using all of her cunning to defeat the dragon she discovers that the prince is a bit of a monster himself, and so she decides not to marry him after all.
Although I agree that the story has a wealth of small lessons for children to learn about boys and girls and expectations and disappointments, I think that one of its strongest points is that the book serves as a wonderful introduction to the fact that not all stories end the way we expect them to (it's still a happy ending, just a different one) and that sometimes a twist can be more satisfying anyway.
Highly recommended for children from 3 to 103.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am so happy I got this book for my four year old daughter. It's the perfect antidote to those unrealistic Disney stories (i.e., Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty). And don't get me wrong, I think that those Disney stories can be fabulous, but the subliminal messages are somewhat 18th century. The Paper Bag Princess, on the other hand is decidely modern. Its message is: if a guy isn't nice to you, he's not worth it, leave him. Really, is there a more important message about relationships that we ought to be sending to our daughters? There are other wonderful messages in here for girls: you are resourceful, be strong. And, as an added benefit, this is a great and funny book, both of my daughters love it. This would make a great gift to all of the young girls in your life (and I think the age range should start at 2, not 4).
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Format: Paperback
This charming story reverses the usual roles: a prince is kidnapped by a dangerous dragon, and the dragon's breath burns up all the clothes in the palace. The princess who loves the prince can only find a paper bag to wear when she goes to rescue her love. Cleverly tricking the dragon, she enters the cave where the prince, still beautifully dressed, is held captive. Is true love rewarded? No! He at once complains she's "a disaster" badly dressed, dirty and all messed up. She replies that he is a fine and handsome prince--but completely useless. "And, in the end, they didn't marry."
This book is funny and not at all didactic, quick and easy to read. It's understandable for children from five up, but appeals to adults, too. I've read it to my Guatemalan maid, who was being forced to marry against her will and had just managed to escape the marriage. She loved the book and took it home to read it to her little brother and sister. This is an ideal work to help girls and boys see themelves as equals, to help them realize that marriage isn't the solution to all life's problems, and to understand that boys, just like girls, can be spoiled and foolish. It also suggests that when a boy friend or girl friend is vain and foolish, rather than pining one can look elsewhere for love and understanding. This book should be in every library worldwide!
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By Tricia on December 12, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love this story and read it as a child. I ordered it for Christmas for my girls and was so disappointed when it arrived. It is not a regular sized book like I had as a girl, but a tiny book that is the size of my palm. Looking over the description, I can see that if you click the "read more" link at the bottom, it does say that this is a mini book, but I really think it should be stated clearly in the page title.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
TINY!!! It's not reasonable to expect a customer to read the product description to the end to see that it's a MINI book. That should be in the title. Also, the manufacturer picture is of the full size version.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really love this book and so does my daughter, but I was extremely disappointed in the size of the book. I guess I should have looked at the size, but that's not always something one would look at when purchasing a book online - I know better now. It would help with such items as these to place "pocket size" or "travel size" which usually means that it's small. I have read this book to my daughter and son at night with great difficulty b/c they couldn't see the pictures/book at the same time. I will be re-ordering a bigger size of this book. I guess I should have known by the price as well, but I thought I had found a super-great deal, but found out otherwise! Very disappointed, but partly my fault; should have look at size. Anyway, great read:children and adults will enjoy this book. Check the dimensions!!!!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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.
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Format: Paperback
As the other reviews have said, this is a very funny and well-written picture book with a great message; however, I would add the caveat that in some situations the anti-fairy-tale ending may be a little too sophisticated for very young children. I read "The Paper Bag Princess" to a group of 3- and 4-year-olds at a day camp, and when I had finished there was a shocked silence, broken by one little girl's whisper, "That was a BAD story!" I would have liked to read it again and talk about it with them, but they all immediately dispersed for the next activity. I should have chosen a different book for these kids, but as a parent (who ends up reading the same books to my daughter over and over again anyway!), I heartily recommend "The Paper Bag Princess."
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