Today I am writing about another one of the most well known books by Robert Munsch: The Paper Bag Princess.
TITLE: The Paper Bag Princess
AUTHOR: Robert Munsch
ILLUSTRATOR: Michel Martchenko
CATEGORY/GENRE: Picture Story Book
The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch
SUMMARY: The Paper Bag Princess is a sweet book that tells the story of a princess that lost her beautiful clothing during an attack from a dragon, who also takes off with her intended Prince Ronald. The brave princess decides to follow the dragon and save Ronald. With nothing else to wear, she puts on the only thing that she could find untouched by the flames of the dragon: a paper bag. When she reaches the dragon’s cave, she invites him to a series of challenges that play on the dragon’s vanity and pride. The brave princess uses her cunning and intelligence to outsmart the dragon and save Ronald. However, in typical Munsch style, there is a twist at the end that truly demonstrates how smart this little princess is…
MY REVIEW: It is hard to decide on which of Robert Munsch’s books I like the most. Yes, in a previous post I shared the one which is my absolute favourite, but this one does not fall far behind! The Paper Bag Princess is a gem of a book. It talks of resiliency, humility and self-empowerment. I particularly like it for the valuable character lessons that can be taught based on this book.
Every single time I read this book to children, I find myself rooting for this little princess and wondering what else she will think of to thwart the dragon. Every page turn brings a new challenge to the dragon, and it is fun to see how she turns his vanity against himself.
I particularly find this book helpful when children come to me feeling hurt and powerless. This book teaches them that they have the power to fight and make their lives better. It teaches them to tap deep into their own strengths in order to live a happy life.
TEACHER TIPS: If you work or deal with children on a regular basis, you are probably familiar with the feelings of unworthiness that children sometimes have when things don’t go the way they expect them to go. When digging deep into the meaning of this story, we can teach children about what is truly important in life: humility, friendship, intelligence, and most of all, confidence!
I find this book could be an amazing tool to explore the intricacies of different characteristics of people, and how people treat each other. I find that it provides an excellent starting point to discussing everyday issues that children often have to deal with (e.g. bullying).
As teachers, we can use examples from the book, not only to explore how to outsmart those that do us harm, but also to brainstorm ways to become more resilient and learn to take pride in ourselves when others fail to appreciate our efforts.
RELATED LINKS: You can find out more about Robert Munsch and his work by visiting his official website at http://robertmunsch.com/.
Michael Martchenko is a Canadian illustrator whose work is present in many of Robert Munsch’s books. However, he has also been an illustrator to other authors, and has published his own books too. Find out more about Martchenko in this webpage.
I hope I have awoken your curiosity about this book. Please feel free to let me know what you think of it, and how you use it in your classroom 🙂
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