“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.”
My all-time favourite children’s book recently turned 40 years old, and it’s time to celebrate! Princess Elizabeth is my one true literary queen, and I’m so excited to see this book continually being loved and shared.
Growing up, The Paper Bag Princess was always one of my favourite stories. My brothers and I were big fans of Robert Munsch books, but this one held a special place in my heart. Maybe it was because I was always having to defend myself against annoying little brothers, or because my name is also Elizabeth; either way, this book stuck. It showed me that girls can be smart and brave and fight battles for themselves, and no one can ever tell them otherwise. Those lessons stuck with me, and are still important today.
Rereading this book as an adult was wonderful. The story has aged incredibly well, and still holds up as having important lessons for children, regardless of their gender. It still teaches girls to be strong and brave, but also teaches boys to be respectful (or be called a bum!).
The 40th anniversary edition also includes bonus content for adult readers: a note from Chelsea Clinton, a short article by Francesca Segal, and reflections from Ann Munsch as well. All of the extra content illustrates the impact that this story has had on generations, and how it will continue to play an important role for readers of all ages.
Thank you so much to the publisher (Annick Press) for an electronic copy of this book via NetGally. The Paper Bag Princess 40th anniversary edition came out on February 4, 2020, and can be purchased wherever books are sold.