Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Paper Bag Princess - By Robert Munsch and Michael Martchenko

When Robert Munsch created the tale of The Paper Bag Princess, he had no idea it would morph into one of the top 10 Kindle picture books for kids. Of course, there were no e-book readers back then, so it's doubtful he anticipated how far technology would ascend and how many new readers he would gain as it did. The premise of The Paper Bag Princess strays from the usual submissive nature of the women in most fairy-tales -- presenting the lesson to little girls to, "be responsible for your own happiness."

What happens in the story?

Princess Elizabeth is a classic archetypal example of royal-blood. She's vain -- always primped and dressed to impress, especially when it comes to her love interest, Prince Ronald. When a dragon attacks her castle and kidnaps her beloved after setting fire to her wardrobe, Elizabeth is forced to don a large paper bag to go save him. When she finds her Prince, she defeats the dragon with a slew of interesting antics along the way. However, Ronald is less than grateful -- stating, "Come back when you're dressed like a real princess." Instead of being heartbroken, Princess Elizabeth uses the lessons she's learned and the confidence she's acquired to set off on her own -- sans the unappreciative Ronald. In doing so, she finds happiness she never experienced and her appreciation for the smaller things doth flourish.

Most moms will recommend this tale based on the fact that Princess Elizabeth is somewhat a feminist -- discovering through the pages that she doesn't need violence and negativity to outsmart a fire-breathing dragon. Although, those same moms may dispute that Elizabeth brings herself down to Prince Ronald's shallow level when she angrily retorts, "You're a bum!" after his comment about her less-than-royal attire. The theme of a strong female protagonist allows young girls to know they have the power over their own lives -- the ability to choose their own paths and make independent decisions. It's a fable that parents pray will stick with children through the rest of their lives.

Essentially, little girls will find Princess Elizabeth especially endearing. Albeit, it's a great moral and message for ALL children who will eventually venture into the ups and downs of adulthood. It's a tale that has morphed into a timeless bedtime story -- and with the use of the Kindle, children can experience technological e-readers at their best while basking in the classic glow of brilliant illustrations and enchanting words.


To find some more great picks among kids' Kindle picture books this year, visit:

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