The Paper Bag Princess – A Childhood Revolution

Once upon a time…

(It was actually 1980)

… two guys decided to write a book for kids. One was a writer, the other an artist. Together, they created a gem.

Their names are Bob Munsch and Michael Martchenko.

Their book is The Paper Bag Princess.

Every little girl – and boy! – could use at least one reading of this classic.

BUT FIRST!

This is interesting!

You know I always do a little research about the books I’m writing about.

WELL…

Guess what? This children’s book was banned by some folks.

Yeah, really!

Why? Well, lemme tell ya…

Let’s see if I can explain this in my own words for you.

*ahem*

Once upon a time, there was a 14 page book with words on one side and illustrations on the other.

It’s very short and very light, which is perfect for holding in your hands while a child sits in your lap, listening as Mom or Dad, Grandma or Grandpa, Brother or Sis or even Your(self)… read and marvel at the colorful, splashy pictures.

There’s a princess, a prince and a dragon in this story.

Things and stuff happen, of course, and it is all written in appropriate language, rather large, because it is, of course, a children’s book.

At the end of the book, which I hate to give away but almost have to…

Wait!!!!!

No, I don’t have to!!

**Think, think, think**

Ah, yes…

To continue…

At the end of the book, girls (and boys!) are taught a valuable lesson in what it means to walk away from those who do not give you the respect you deserve.

Some overly-zealous “family values” peeps decided the message was far, far, far too feminist for their liking. Therefore, the ban.

Thank you for coming to my TedTalk.

And just so you know, the publisher (concerned about the message the book was sending) even asked Munsch to change the ending of his book but he refused. Well, duh, publishers! It totally changes EVERYTHING! Ugh.

Also, discerning readers of all ages will pick up on the meaning of the Dragon, who is, as always, the bad guy. <<< But wait! Is he? Clever, clever, Mr. Munsch!

So yes, it’s a children’s book, but…

I had never read it and thoroughly enjoyed it!

My children, born in the early 1980s, never read it either… at least, I don’t remember it.

The only reason I have it now is the my mom had a copy and sent it to me. She thought it might be a good fit for my blog. She was right, as she so often is! And yes, I think I’ll tag this with a “Mom’s Pick”.

This is a book for everyone – maybe even your inner child who is still trying to figure stuff out? – but most especially young girls!

Bottom line: It’s never too early (or too late!) to send a message of self-care and respect.

Addendum: October 3, 2021 – An interview with Munsch about his diagnosis of dementia.

6 Comments

  1. I never read or heard of this book. But you can bet that if it was ever good, if it ever taught a good valuable lesson to kids, it is bad now.. oh well. So hard to be a kid niwadays.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautifully written, Sherry – an excellent review! Hopefully there are moms out there who will buy this book for their little ones. A head’s up for your readers though: there’s an anniversary edition on the market that’s much more expensive, so be aware if you only want the original book which is still available. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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