New Year, new you and I really hope that reading more, or getting your kids to read, is one of those resolutions that make it through the year. It may be difficult if reading isn’t your favourite thing to do but like J.K. Rowling so rightly said, “If you don’t like to read, you haven’t found the right book.” The Paperbag Princess may be the right book for your little girl or maybe even you! Although it is framed like a typical fairytale, it holds insightful messages that not just little girls but every person should learn.
The Paperbag Princess is about, like you’ve probably guessed, a young princess. Her name is Elizabeth and she is due to marry a handsome prince. Unfortunately, before they can wed, a dragon burns up the princess’s entire castle and all her princess clothes (I know, right, tragic!). She, however, is not the damsel in distress. The dragon steals the prince from her and Elizabeth takes it up as her responsibility to save him, an interesting deviation from the usual fairytale. There is a slight problem though; her wardrobe choices after the dragon causes destruction are quite limited. The only item not reduced to cinders is a paper bag large enough to fit her. She has no choice but to wear it to go save the prince. Elizabeth sets off and follows a burnt trail to the dragon’s lair to find the conceited dragon.
He apparently is too busy to eat princesses on that day. An infuriated and determined Elizabeth uses the dragon’s ego and outsmarts him into finishing his fiery breath and becoming too tired to move. The Paperbag princess does somewhat save the day. You’d think the moral of the story lays in the Paperbag Princess versus dragon plot but no, the ending of the book conspicuously reveals the lesson that personality is more important than possessions.
Both the author and illustrator are male but the book has a feminist undertone to it that could be beneficial to both boys and girls. The Paperbag Princess has a unique, modern twist and plenty of light humour that make it enjoyable for children or the adult reading the story. Michael Martchenko’s art is witty, funny, cartoon representations that complement an already humorous story. This book is certainly the full package.
The Paperbag Princess and many other interesting children’s titles are available at The bookYard. Start your new year the right way!
This book is available at
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