The Paper Bag Princess By Robert Munsch



paper bag princess

If your daughter is into princesses, but you’re not so into the stereotypes and outdated messages in many princess stories, then this is a book you need for your bookshelf.


Elizabeth is a beautiful princess who is set to marry the handsome, but maybe not so nice, Prince Ronald. When Prince Ronald is carried off by a fire-breathing dragon, Elizabeth goes to great lengths to rescue her Prince.

Throughout her heroic and very clever efforts, Elizabeth becomes a little dishevelled and when she finally does rescue Ronald, he tells her to come back when she is looking like a real princess.

Elizabeth gives him a piece of her mind and decides she may just be better off without him. Go Elizabeth!

Why I love it:

I do have a daughter who is into princesses and, over the years, I have been somewhat concerned about the messages being given to her in fairy tales. I don’t want her growing up thinking that being beautiful is all she can offer or that her appearance is her most valuable trait. I also don’t want her growing up thinking that impressing a guy is of high importance or that getting married is the purpose of life!

Elizabeth, from The Paper Bag Princess is a much healthier and more appealing role model for my little girl.

I used to read this book to grades I taught and I think it is a must for any home; and not just for the girls. Let’s seek out a few more stories with characters and plots that don’t make us squirm.

Themes to discuss with your child:

  • Strength
  • Independence
  • Individuality
  • Meeting the expectations of others
  • Using intelligence to outwit or get ahead
  • Don’t judge a book by its cover
  • Typical princesses, vs The Paper Bag Princess
  • Freedom
  • Bravery
  • Making choices
  • Sticking up for yourself
  • Believing in yourself
  • Knowing your worth

Questions to ask your child:

Before reading:
  • What do you think this book might be about?
  • Do you think this is a fiction book (a story) or a non-fiction book (facts)?
  • Is this a book you want to read? Why/why not?
  • Do you think the girl on the cover is a real princess? What makes you think this?
  • Why do you think the girl is wearing a paper bag?
  • Do you think the dragon is a friendly dragon or an angry dragon? What makes you think this?
  • What can you see littered around the ground in the cover illustration? What do you think this tells you about the dragon?


After reading:
  • Did you enjoy this story? Why/why not?
  • What do you think is the main message, or moral of the story?
  • Why do you think the author wrote this story?
  • What is one word you would use to describe Elizabeth?
  • What is one word you would use to describe Ronald?
  • Do you think Elizabeth should have married Ronald?
  • What do you think Ronald should have said to Elizabeth when she rescued him?
  • What do you think is more important: the way someone behaves or the way they look?

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