Elizabeth is our favourite story book princess. Why?
…she stands up to dragons!
…she’s the hero of her own story!
…she reminds me of my very own Paper Bag Princess who slays dyslexia dragons every day!
Canadian children’s author Robert Munsch launched his successful career 40 years ago with the publication of The Paper Bag Princess by the venerable Canadians publisher annick press. It has since sold 7 million copies worldwide!
The Paper Bag Princess puts a twist on the classic “girl meets boy, boy saves girl, girl marries boy” fairy tale–it changed the face of children’s literature and was a “girl power” book before girl power was a thing!
The story in a nutshell: the fiercest dragon in the world smashes Princess Elizabeth’s castle, burns her clothes and captures her handsome fiance, Prince Ronald. She saves Ronald by outsmarting the dragon–but in the end, she realizes the prince isn’t so princely after all. His biggest concern is not that he was almost eaten by a dragon, but that the girl who saved him has messy hair and is wearing a paper bag!
Her response? “You look like a real prince, but you are a bum.”
“They didn’t get married after all.”
Good job Elizabeth. He is a bum! You deserve better!
Celebrate 40 years of The Paper Bag Princess
Saturday, March 7, 2020 marks the 40th anniversary of publication of The Paper Bag Princess.
We’re honoured that Annick Press chose the Dyslexic Library to help celebrate! Thank you for sending us a complimentary copy of the 40th Anniversary edition.
Though it’s hard to part with this special edition, we’re donating our copy to my sister’s school library here in Ottawa. We want it to be in the hands of many more children for years to come!
You can find events and online to celebrate this special anniversary at home or school! The event kit is filled with fun activities, costume instructions, educator’s guide and a poster:
Why we love this book
Munsch gave us a wonderful role model in Princess Elizabeth–a little girl who didn’t give a hoot about her hair or her clothes, who used her smarts to get out of a pickle, and stood up for herself.
We read this book a lot when our daughter was little–our smart, strong, curious and happy-to-get-her-hands-dirty girl is so much like the Paper Bag Princess.
So many reasons to love this book:
👑 it’s fun to read out loud with your children and it’s fun to act out
👑 kids love it! Munsch is a masterful writer who doesn’t talk down to children
👑 it’s beautifully illustrated by Michael Martchenko
👑 it’s empowering but it’s not preachy
👑 it’s a keepsake book that every home should have; we give it as baby and birthday gifts
Ten ways we stand up to dyslexia dragons
The book also resonates to me as a parent, a member of the dyslexia community, and a dyslexia advocate. We slay dragons all the time, don’t we?
Here’s my list–very much influenced by my very own Paper Bag Princess:
- Overcoming your fears about dyslexia and learning to embrace your unique way of thinking and learning
- Not giving in to lowered expectations or negative thinking about your abilities by others or yourself (you may just find out your good at something you thought you weren’t–like writing or math)
- Never giving up! Working hard to become a good reader and working 10x harder than everyone else to complete your homework and overcome obstacles at school
- Finding books you love to read–like picture books or graphic novels
- Exploring different ways to express yourself (through drawing, music, theatre, and other art forms)
- Standing up to bullies and negative thinking that makes you feel “less than” for any reason (and laughing in the face of adversity!)
- Finding friends who accept and love you, and doing the same for them
- Having the courage to share your story to help others
- Accepting yourself–finding your strengths and learning to manage what you’re not so good at (better yet: turning your weaknesses into strengths!)
- Being the hero of your own story by learning to advocate for yourself
What dyslexia dragons have you slayed or want to slay?
Thank you Robert Munsch for creating this wonderful character and story–and thank you to all our friends in the dyslexia community for always standing up to dragons!
More info about the PBP
More info about slaying dyslexia dragons