The Paper Bag Princess: Book Review and Activities

I have a TON of Robert Munsch's books, but I would have to say that The Paper Bag Princess is my all-time, hands-down favourite. This is the ultimate "girl power" picture book.

Interesting facts: Munsch is a beloved Canadian children's author AND this particular book was written the year my oldest son was born and he just turned 32!

I have a TON of Robert Munsch's books, but I would have to say that The Paper Bag Princess is my all-time, hands-down favourite. This is the ultimate "girl power" picture book. This book review also includes some follow-up activities you don't want to miss! #paperbagprincess #robertmunsch #booksforkids #gradeonederful

Title: The Paper Bag Princess

Author: Robert Munsch

Illustrator: Michael Martchenko

Publisher: Annick Press Ltd., 1980

Genre: Fiction

Theme / Topic:  Fractured Fairytale, Self-Respect, Girls, Imagination

Intended Audience: Ages 3 to 12

Synopsis: After a dragon destroys Princess Elizabeth's castle and carries off Prince Ronald, this feisty princess decides to save her intended. She dons a paper bag dress (nothing else remains after the fire) and chases down the dragon. In true princess (and girl) style, she outwits the macho, overly-confident dragon and wins back Prince Ronald. But is Ronald grateful? NO, he isn't. All he can focus on is her paper bag dress and grubby face. In a glorious moment of awareness, Princess Elizabeth sees beyond his fancy exterior to the true self-centred, unattractive person he really is. And yes, she dumps him!

OpeningElizabeth was a beautiful princess. She lived in a castle and had expensive princess clothes. She was going to marry a prince named Ronald.  Unfortunately, a dragon smashed her castle, burned all her clothes with his fiery breath, and carried off Prince Ronald.

I have a TON of Robert Munsch's books, but I would have to say that The Paper Bag Princess is my all-time, hands-down favourite. This is the ultimate "girl power" picture book. This book review also includes some follow-up activities you don't want to miss! #paperbagprincess #robertmunsch #booksforkids #gradeonederful

Why I like this book: I LOVE this book because Elizabeth is a powerful girl who finally realizes she can live happily ever after without this spineless prince at her side. I adore happy love endings in stories and novels, but it drives me crazy that all the fairy tale princesses take one look at the prince and decide to marry him on the spot ... and of course, live happily ever after. I'm always trying to challenge my students' thinking, especially the girls, when we read these kinds of endings. I do not want them brainwashed into thinking they can only be happy if they find Mr. Right.  It's important for girls to stand up for their own beliefs and desires and to take matters into their own hands. (I'll get off my soapbox now ~ ha ha. Can you tell I was a teenager in the late 60s early 70s?)


1. Robert Munsch's official site where you can learn all about him and the other books he's written.

2. A YouTube video of Robert Munsch reading The Paper Bag Princess.

3. The Crafty Crow has directions for a paper bag dress and crown.

4. Here's a fabulous paper bag princess puppet from Crafts on Sea.

5. Steemit has an awesome and easy lesson on this cute paper roll dragon.

6. And lastly this book lends itself to fun and animated discussions about princess stereotypes, the importance of believing in yourself, following your dreams, and being a strong person (regardless of gender :)).  Even my Grade 1 students can meaningfully participate in these kinds of discussions. 

Be sure to visit Susanna's blog for more fine recommendations on Perfect Picture Book Friday.

Happy reading!

Check out all my book reviews for kids!


  1. Oh, I love that book! It's so clever and funny. Robert Munsch is an oddball in person, I bet! lol

    Buzzing with Ms. B

    1. Yeah, I bet he's hilarious. I'd love to meet him.

  2. Oh WOW!! I love Robert Munsch and quite often use is 'Pigs' book :) I have not used this book before, but seeing how wonderfully you have compiled a list of resources and ideas to go with it, I am now popping this to the top of my list for next term!! Thank you so much :D Wishing you a wonderful weekend!
    Good Morning Mrs Rubie

    1. Thanks, Tina, you too!
      And yes, PIGS is an awesome book. I almost blogged about it :)

  3. Barbara, I, too, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this fabulous story. This is a girl after my own heart, and the message is brilliant. I would have reviewed it soon if you hadn't! Great choice!

  4. The illustrations look so gorgeous! I dimly recall reading a Robert Munsch book before, but this one I should definitely find! Thank you for sharing it. I am now pinning this in my Pinterest board so I can remember to borrow more Munsch books from our library.

  5. This is a fantastic story! I'm so glad you added it to the list, Princess Elizabeth a spunky, confident character that should be shared with another generation of kiddos. My boys dislike books about passive princesses waiting to be rescued and they mock Princess Peach as a running joke in the Mario Bros video games. "Don't just sit there, DO something for yourself!" Excellent resources and activities. Thank you.

  6. This is one of my favorite books (as you can imagine!). I JUST shared it with my class. It's like we share a brain across a continent.

    First in Maine

    1. The brain that wouldn't stop growing ~ ha ha.

  7. Robert Munsch is awesome!!! What a hilarious take on princess stories. Ha! Gotta get this one. Thanks for sharing. :-)

  8. I love Robert Munsch!! The Paper Bag Princess is definitely one of my favourites! :)

    First Grade Garden

  9. Thanks for sharing the cute ideas! I'm having a giveaway with a friend, head over to my blog to check it out :)
    Over the 1st Grade Rainbow

  10. Wow.... so much all in one post! Thanks so much for stopping by my blog. I am now your newest follower and look forward to exploring your blog some more!

    Sowing Seeds of Learning

  11. One of my favorite books!! I love how it empowers girls, I have two of my own;) Thanks so much for stopping by my blog:)
    Surfin' Through Second

  12. I love this book! I'm so glad you've added it to the PPB list!

  13. I haven't read that in a while. I'll have to dig it out and read it to my class. I love the puppet!
     Chrissy

    First Grade Found Me

  14. Thanks for all the resources to go with this book. I will have to pull this book out and read it to my class. I am your newest follower! Thanks for stopping by my blog.

    Classroom Companion

  15. This is one of my all time favorites! Thanks for the great resources for this book.

  16. Yay for Princess Elizabeth! This looks like a great story and I'm loving the girl power theme! Adding it to my ever-growing library list! Excellent choice Barbara!
    A2ZMommy and What’s In Between

  17. I am amazed that you can actually pick a favorite book. I know I'd be hard pressed. A friend gave us "Love You Forever" before my older son was born. That was the only Munsch I'd read. Thanks for the new recommendation.

  18. What a grea selection -- never heard of it befre. Lots of fun for kids. Great choice for PPB.

  19. Awesome activities, as usual!!!!! I keep meaning to read this book! Thanks for the reminder. I am sure, from your review, that I will love it.

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