THE PAPERBAG PRINCESS

– Robert Mun­sch

The Star (St. Lucia) - - BOOK REVIEW -

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 The bookYard. Visit us to­day, email us at the bookyard@stlu­ci­as­tar.com, or call the Star 450-7827 for more de­tails!

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