Why “The Paper Bag Princess” is the Best Children’s Book

If you’ve never read “The Paper Bag Princess” by Robert Munsch, I highly recommend reading it now. This story is one of my favorite children’s books, and I actually even wrote my college essay about it.

Michael Matchenko

To summarize, “The Paper Bag Princess” focuses on the story of Princess Elizabeth and Prince Ronald who are supposed to get married. Suddenly, a dragon comes, burns down the entire castle and kidnaps Ronald. Elizabeth knows she has to rescue Ronald, so she finds the only thing that wasn’t burnt, a paper bag, and puts it on. 

Michael Matchenko

Princess Elizabeth ventures to the dragon’s lair and outsmarts the dragon. When she gets to Ronald, he chastises her for not looking like a proper princess. Elizabeth tells Ronald that even though he looks nice and looks like a prince, he is, in fact, a bum and end up not marrying him. 

 

Michael Matchenko

 

The story reverses the typical damsel-in-distress theme and has Elizabeth be the heroine of the story. Unlike many typical princess books, Elizabeth decides she does not need to stay with a condescending, self-absorbed, pretentious prince. She chooses her own destiny. 

Michael MatchenkoWhat I love about Munsch’s book is that it still has many traditional fairytale elements that entice little girls into reading. But unlike many Disney-esque plots, Elizabeth does not fall into the trap of the handsome prince. This plotline has resonated with me for a long time. It helped me realize that I can still be great without some stupid shiny guy telling me my worth. 

Overall, “The Paper Bag Princess” is a story every girl needs to read in her life whether or not she’s four years old or twenty-four.