Michelle's Reviews > The Paper Bag Princess

The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch
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Oct 08, 09

bookshelves: catalog, jess

Summary:
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. - Karen Snelson

Potential Audience: Ages 4-8

Genre: Fiction, fractured fairy-tale

Topic: self-confidence

Reading level: Transitional/Fluent

Specific Curricular Uses: Independent reading, Read aloud, Guided reading

Social Issues the book addresses: This book deals with peer pressure and materialistic expectations.

Specific Literary Elements:
-Elizabeth begins the story as a flat character but evolves into a round character by discovering a new type of pride.
-She values her own personal worth and does not let the prince control her.
-The author purposely changes the ending of the story. The reader expects the prince and princess to end up together to live happily ever after, but the author uses irony to change to situation.

Interactions and Counteractions of text and image:
The illustrations help to support the text, however the text in and of itself is enough for the reader to understand what is going on.
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