The Paper Bag Princess
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The Paper Bag Princess

4.31 of 5 stars 4.31  ·  rating details  ·  25,613 ratings  ·  1,046 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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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...more
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...more
Jan 04, 2011 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...more
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...more
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...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...more
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
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
Brittany Hastings
Grade Level: 2nd
Lexile: 740
Main Character: Princess, Prince, Dragon
Setting: Forest
POV: Third Person
Genre: Fantasy

-Summary: In the beginning of the story, the prince and the princess live happily together in a castle. One day, a dragon comes and burns down the castle and kidnaps the prince. With nothing left but a brown paper bag, the princess sets off to save the prince from the ferocious dragon. When she goes to the dragon’s house, she begins a discussion with him. She asks him if it is true th...more
This is an interesting reversal of the classic fairy tale that children have traditionally grown up with. Not only does it explore turning the traditional gender roles upside down, but also that beauty is more than skin deep, and it provides a different meaning to ‘happily ever after’. This picture book is a light hearted illustration of a non-stereotypical prince and princess; portraying Princess Elizabeth as a strong and go-getting girl, who conquers a fire breathing dragon and rescues a vain...more
This is the Best. Kids book. EVER.

So, maybe I'm biased, but I love love love this book.

Maybe a bit more now that I'm full grown and can appreciate what it gave me, but it was a clear favourite when I was a kid too.

I credit this book with being part of what made me who I am - I admired the princess, and her clever brain, and tricksy problem solving. Certianly as a child I valued intellegence above anything else, and I've strived to be practical and independent, even when it doesn't come naturally...more
I loved this! I felt compelled to give my kids a good reminder that it isn't great to go for someone because they make you feel a certain way... This can often cloud your judgement. I immediately compared this princess to Princess Ana in Frozen. She got duped by Prince Hanz.
i know it's a kid's story
but it has a grown up meaning
and if he isn't , just don't let him in because he will only be a burden.
Superfacial irresponsible men are definetly the worst!!!!
Laura the Highland Hussy
I just read this to my daughter and it's also the first time I've ever read it...
I loved the ending! I absolutely loved the ending!

For those of you who don't know this story, quick summary:
(view spoiler)...more
The Paper Bag Princess tells the story of Princess Elizabeth and Prince Ronald…in short the story of a resourceful princess and her useless prince...with a dragon thrown in for good measure! The story begins in a castle and ends in a cave…but I will leave it to you to see if Elizabeth and Ronald get their happy ever after.

Having used this for a literacy unit with a Year 2 class, I found that Munsch uses language that is accessible for children in key stages one and two. The text can be used for...more
this book tell the girls to ignore the boyish look at them "you should be pretty to get married .. etc " and tells the boys to be grateful when people do things for them ;)
The Paper Bag Princess is a book that tells about the cunning and genius of a young princess. She is trying to save her prince and has to get past a dragon first. Not only does the story depict the brilliance of the princess, but it also tells of how unimportant looks truly are. Just because someone looks and dresses nice, does not mean that they are a nice person. And vice versa, just because somebody looks like a slob does not mean that they are an ugly horrible person. It is very important fo...more
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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...more
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