If your daughter is into princesses, but you’re not so into the stereotypes and outdated messages in many princess stories, then this is a book you need for your bookshelf.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:
- 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
- Making choices
- Sticking up for yourself
- Believing in yourself
- Knowing your worth
Questions to ask your child:
- 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?
- 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?
Join the newsletter
Like a little brilliance in your inbox?
Sign up here to receive a weekly update from us.