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The Paper Bag Princess

4.31 of 5 stars 4.31  ·  rating details  ·  30,894 ratings  ·  1,226 reviews
The Princess Elizabeth is slated to marry Prince Ronald when a dragon attacks the castle and kidnaps Ronald. In resourceful and humorous fashion, Elizabeth finds the dragon, outsmarts him, and rescues Ronald--who is less than pleased at her un-princess-like appearance. Full color.
Paperback, 32 pages
Published February 1st 1992 by Annick Press (first published May 1st 1980)
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Girl meets boy. Boy meets dragon. Girl loses boy and clothes. Girl uses paper bag as dress. Girl defeats dragon. Girl gets boy back again. Boy is ungrateful. Boy loses girl. THE END
I give this three stars because it was originally written in 1980 when there wasn't as much in the way of "feminist fairy-tales" as there are today--so, gotta give Munsch props for that! I like that our heroine is plucky and resourceful. However, two things really bugged me--

1st, was it Ronald or Elizabeth who was being false before she came to rescue him--i.e., did she originally pretend to be a proper princess, or was he just hiding his jerky-ness? Their split seemed a bit sudde
It is never too early to teach girls to not settle, and to save the prince! Even if Ronald is a pathetic prince.
I have been reading most of Robert Munsch and Michael Martchenko’s works ever since I was a child and I have enjoyed most of their works! I have recently re-read a book from the popular duo that I had enjoyed during my childhood called “The Paper Bag Princess” and it is about how a princess is stripped down to wearing a plain paper bag when a dragon attacks her castle and she has to go rescue Prince Ronald, who has been kidnapped by the dragon. “The Paper Bag Princess” is definitely one of Rober ...more
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 o
Celia Kennedy
An absolute must read for every girl from birth through forever...

I'm not a raging feminist, but I am a huge believer in a girl knowing that she can rescue herself and anyone else who needs it - if they want her help. This book reinforces how to be resourceful, have confidence, and know when to walk away. My daughter received this gift the day she was born and we've read it a thousand times. One of the few that is still on the bookshelf, more than a decade later.
Christine Bongers
Found this on the bookshelf today. Thirty-five years after it was first published, it is still a fun and empowering read.
Jan 28, 2015 Slayermel rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone with young children and Preschool Teachers
I have always loved this story because for once when it comes to Princes and Princesses we have a strong Female character.
Princess Elizabeth is to Marry Prince Ronald, but all this changes when a Fierce Dragon comes and attacks the castle and kidnaps the Prince. Elizabeth ends up having to wear a paper bag and goes through some trials in order to save Prince Robert. When she arrives to save him, Prince Robert is not impressed with the way Elizabeth looks, never mind the fact that she just came
3.5/5.0 stars

Yesssss! A reversal! In kids book, no less!! (Me, whooping)

The Paperbag Princess subtly teaches the little ones(girls, especially) several things; one, material possession is fleeting, two, beauty is more than skin-deep, three, wisdom is a weapon, four, you can be your own hero(or anything you want to be, really), and five, acceptance and respect comprise genuine love. Did I miss anything? Oh yeah, why not shed double standards while we're at it.

Children are smart and retentive, the
مصطفي سليمان
قصة مسخرة حقيقة مسخرة

انا ضحكت ضحك علي النهاية غير معقول

القصة بسيطة الاميرة بتتجوز التنين بيجي يخطف الامير وبيحرق هدوم الاميرة كلها ف بتلبس كيس ورقي علشان تروح تلحق الامير وبتقابل التنين وبيتحاول انها توصل للامير بالخداع

انا مش عاوز أحرق بس فعلا النهاية غير متوقعه حقيقي

قصة لطيفة جدا وبسيطة جدا

Loved this book. What kind of princess do you want to be? If you want to be a Sleeping Beauty kind of princess, this book is not for you. If you want to be an empowered, capable princess, our paper bag Princess will speak volumes.
Lucy Watts
When we first meet Elizabeth at the start of 'The Paper Bag Princess' she appears to be a common or garden fairy tale princess. She lives in a castle, wears expensive princess clothes and is going to marry a prince named Ronald. So far so dull. Everything changes when a dragon arrives and smashes Elizabeth's castle, burns her clothes and carries Prince Ronald off to his cave.

The rest of the story tells how Elizabeth bravely dons a paper bag (the only thing she can find that the dragon hasn't bu
Alicia Tan
“Ronald,” said Elizabeth, “your clothes are really pretty and your hair is all neat. You look like a real prince, but you are a bum.”

My curiosity was certainly piqued when I read those lines. “This does not quite sound like a fairy tale with ‘happily ever after’”, I thought.

“The title of the book is ‘The Paper Bag Princess’, why was she called that Mama? Does she not have any clothes? What happened to her?” Those questions (by my daughter nicknamed Dumpling) came fast and furious and so, I sat
Nov 18, 2007 Jessica rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: little tiny people, not-so-tiny people who could benefit from its message
I thought I reviewed this one already. This is an instructive fairytale for young children about not putting up with a bunch of crap. The paper bag princess is engaged to marry Prince Ronald, this handsome, uptight tennis-playing eighties-yuppie-style monarch, until she has to battle a fire-breathing dragon using only her wits. Elizabeth the princess outsmarts the dragon, but not before his fire breath blows away all of her clothes and she's left to conceal her nakedness by wearing a paper bag. ...more
Becca Harper
I remember reading this book over and over again as a child. I was fascinated by how this princess, not only outsmarted a dragon, but also rescued the prince. When every other fairy tale tells you the prince is the hero and the princess is the helpless female in need of rescuing, this was a refreshingly different and forward thinking for the time (80's).

I guess that is why it will always be my favourite childhood story, the woman is the hero and not only that but she showed me I didn't need to c
The Paper Bag Princess is an extraordinary fairy tale. It is the opposite of a traditional fairy tale, because the princess, the main character of the story is not some “damsel in distress” but quite a heroine. Princess Elizabeth has it all: a castle, beautiful gowns and a prince, who she will wed. However, the story turns, when the dragon burns the castle, takes the prince and all she is left with is a paper bag to wear. Dressed only in an old paper bag, she goes on a brave adventure to face th ...more
Urska P.
The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch is a classic fairy tale with a twist. The protagonist, princess Elizabeth, had everything: beauty, expensive clothes and a prince to be married to. This changes with the dragon who destroys everything, burns her clothes, and kidnaps prince Reginald. Princess Elizabeth, whose only possession now is a paper bag she transformed into the clothing, instead of crying and wallowing in self-pity, decides to save her prince from the dragon and in the process realiz ...more
Bibiana Jurado
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Review of The Paper Bag Princess

Truth be told, The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch is absolutely a complete unusual picture book for children. Its leading character is a lovely, bright and nicely dressed princess Elizabeth who will soon get married to prince Ronald.

It would all be so annoyingly cliché and predictable if there was not a terrifying, voracious and dangerous dragon ingeniously featured in the story. He craves for princesses and eats them with great delight, but he also likes cas
Brittany Clark
The Paper Bag Princess is a fictional tale of a non-traditional princess! This book offers a hilarious way to discuss gender roles with children.

Elizabeth was a beautiful princess destined to marry Prince Ronald. However, one day, a dragon attacks her castle and captures the prince, leaving her nothing more than a paper bag to wear! Despite this, Elizabeth heads off to find the dragon and save her prince. After outsmarting the dragon, Elizabeth rushes up to Prince Ronald who is less than enthusi
Sami C
Dragon kidnaps prince, princess' clothes reduced to ashes so she embarks on a quest to save prince while wearing paper bag, prince is saved but he turns out to be a dirtbag, princess says deuces and leaves him.

I like this story. It is so rare to have a male damsel in distress and a children's book character who doesn't just settle for the prince.
Very good feminist fairy tale, w/out being too over the top. My four year old son really liked it, and it gave us a good reason / excuse to talk about gender roles and respect.
Inspired Kathy
Nearly 30 years old but still a great book! Elizabeth sets off to save Ronald from a dragon. But sometimes a prince isn't all he's cracked up to be.
Nojood Alsudairi
A children's book unlike any other. It contradicts the fairytales and tells girls that they do not need to be muscular to rescue people.
Jessica Breighner
The Paper Bag Princess
1. Brief Summary
This is a story about a Princess, named Elizabeth, who goes through many obstacles to find her inner-self. The mean dragon of the story begins the tale by stealing the prince from the princess, and he burns everything the princess owns, including her clothes. She goes on a search to find the dragon’s lair to reclaim her prince. She tricks the dragon in order to enter the lair to save her prince. Once she finds her prince, she discovers that he is so self ab
Elizabeth is a beautiful princess, about to marry the rather stuck-up Prince Ronald, when a dragon destroys her castle with his fiery breath, and carries off Ronald. All of Elizabeth’s clothes are burnt, and the only thing left for her to wear is a dirty paper bag. She puts it on and off she goes to find her prince in the dragon’s lair. Elizabeth tricks the dragon into tiring himself out by setting fire to several forests, and flying around the world in just ten seconds. When he is fast asleep, ...more
This is a great story for KS1. It is a modern day depiction of classic fairytale stories. The roles are reversed in this book as Princess Elizabeth goes in search of Prince Ronald at the dragon's cave. She is dressed in only a paper bag as her clothes got burned when the dragon burned down her kingdom. She outsmarts the dragon by betting that he cannot fly fifty times around the world or burn down 100 forests. The dragon does all these things to show off but as a result, he is completely exhaust ...more

This story is like a fresh breeze. It breaks the stereotypical idea of princess fairy tales. I like that Elizabeth the princess in the story is adventurous and bright at the same time. She out-smart the dragon who took Elizabeth's charming prince. It is ironic that after the dragon burned and smashed her castle and cloths, all she could find to wear was a paper bag. I would thing that a paper bag would be the first thing to burn in the castle, but in fiction everything it's possible.

I own a pape
Amy Musser
There’s nothing like a liberated and independent princess to make my day! And Princess Elizabeth, aka the Paper Bag Princess, is nothing if not liberated and independent.

Besides being one of the pluckiest princesses in picture book history, I adore the fact that the Elizabeth does not wear pink, nor does she look like a sparkle monster threw up on her. It’s not that I hate the color pink or sparkles it’s just that they seem to have taken over picture books. It’s refreshing to see story about a p
Mel Campbell
This book is a clever, entertaining subversion of traditional fairytale gender roles. I loved it when I was a kid – not just because Princess Elizabeth outsmarted a dragon, but also because her expressions were so funny in the illustrations.

A lot of Goodreads reviews I've seen have described Elizabeth as a 'strong female character', but I think we really need to throw that stupid cliché away, as too often, people interpret a 'strong woman' as someone who uses force, disrespect and ruthless domi
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Robert Munsch was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Fordham University in 1969 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history and from Boston University in 1971 with a Master of Arts degree in anthropology.

He studied to become a Jesuit priest, but decided he would rather work with children after jobs at orphanages and daycare centers. In 1973, he received a Master of Education in Chil
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