Okay. . .I know I seem to be on a princess kick lately. . .but I have been recommeding books to one of my friends for her girls (Rebecca–all the others along with this one are in the box), and this is one I told her about. If you have never had the priviledge of reading The Paper Bag Princess, well, then you have missed out on one of the simple pleasures of life. Here is where you can go to read about it and to see the cover of the book and even hear the author read it. It is by the same guy that wrote Love You Forever if you’ve read that one. I didn’t put the link for Love You Forever on, because the story of how he wrote it is as INCREDIBLY sad and poignant as the book itself. . .so I will let you go to his website and read it at your own risk.
The Paper Bag Princess is 25 years old, and is most definitely a girl power book–though I have read it to my entire class (including 3 of them today since I used it for a lower level reading activity–1 class full of NOTHING but boys) before and they all enjoyed it. I am pretty sure I’m not breaking some horrible law by typing the entire thing out here since you can go to the link and hear it being read by the author. I highly recommend this for everyone–even those of you without kiddos.
The illustrations are excellent, but this story can be told (as it was originally) without pictures at all. . .so, I give you. . .
The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch
Elizabeth 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.
Elizabeth decided to chase the dragon and get Ronald back. She looked everywhere for something to wear, but the only thing she could find that was not burned was a paper bag. So she put on the paper bag and followed the dragon. He was easy to follow, because he left a trail of burnt forests and horses’ bones.
Finally, Elizabeth came to a cave with a large door that had a huge knocker on it. She took hold of the knocker and banged on the door. The dragon stuck his nose out of the door and said, “Well, a princess! I love to eat princesses, but I have already eaten a whole castle today. I am a very busy dragon. Come back tomorrow.” He slammed the door so fast that Elizabeth almost got her nose caught.
Elizabeth grabbed the knocker and banged on the door again. The dragon stuck his nose out of the door and said, “Go away. I love to eat princesses, but I have already eaten a whole castle today. I am a very busy dragon. Come back tomorrow.”
“Wait,” shouted Elizabeth. “Is it true that you are the smartest and fiercest dragon in the whole world?”
“Yes,” said the dragon.
“Is it true,” said Elizabeth, “that you can burn up ten forests with your fiery breath?”
“Oh, yes,” said the dragon, and he took a huge, deep breath and breathed out so much fire that he burnt up fifty forests.
“Fantastic,” said Elizabeth, and the dragon took another huge breath and breathed out so much fire that he burnt up one hundred forests.
“Magnificent,” said Elizabeth, and the dragon took another huge breath, but this time nothing came out. The dragon didn’t even have enough fire left to cook a meatball.
Elizabeth said, “Dragon, is it true that you can fly around the world in just ten second?”
“Why, yes,” said the dragon, and jumped up and flew all the way around the world in just ten seconds. He was very tired when he got back, but Elizabeth shouted, “Fantastic, do it again!”
So the dragon jumped up and flew around the world in just twenty seconds. When he got back he was too tired to talk and he lay down and went straight to sleep.
Elizabeth whispered very softly, “Hey, dragon.” The dragon didn’t move at all. She lifted up the dragon’s ear and put her head right inside. She shouted as loud as she could, “Hey, dragon!” The dragon was so tired he didn’t even move.
Elizabeth walked right over the dragon and opened the door to the cave. There was Prince Ronald. He looked at her and said, “Elizabeth, you are a mess! 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.”
“Ronald,” said Elizabeth, “your clothes are really pretty and your hair is very neat. You look like a real prince, but you are a bum.”
They didn’t get married after all.