Robert Munsch's Children's Classic Dragon Book - The Paper Bag Princess

Back on the 1st May 1980, prolific American-Canadian children's book author, Robert Munsch, along with his favoured illustrator Michael Martchenko, introduced the world to the best-selling children's dragon book, The Paper Bag Princess.

Robert Munsch's The Paper Bag Princess

Image courtesy of ©robert munsch, Annick Press

Robert Munsch has authored over 50 books, starting in 1979 with his first book, Mud Puddle and publishing his most recent, The Enormous Suitcase, in 2017. He has gained multiple awards throughout his career, including a star on the Toronto Walk of Fame.

Each of his stories are told in the same over the top, excitable and humourusly random style that has made him so popular over the years with both kids and adults alike. The Paper Bag Princess being one of his most iconic books, alongside his celebrated story, Love You Forever.

But we're particularly interested in The Paper Bag Princess because it's a children's book with dragons! This tells the story of beautiful Princess Elizabeth who was going to marry a Prince named Ronald. Their wedding was ruined by the introduction of a dragon that stole Prince Ronald away and burnt off all of her clothes. Suitably annoyed, Princess Elizabeth dons a paper bag in place of all of her missing clothes, and goes on a mission to rescue Prince Ronald and defeat the dragon.

At this point, you'll probably have noticed that this is a complete role reversal on all of the typical princess and dragon stories, completely subverting the gender stereotypes that can plague the fantasy genre. There's still a long way to go, but awareness of equal rights is improving, Time's Up being a pertinent example. But Robert Munsch's novel was decades before new wave feminism has made such a recent impact. This book has been improving awareness of equal rights for generations of young boys and girls through the 3,000,000 copies sold. Robert Munsch's The Paper Bag Princess has won critical acclaim from feminists and endorsement by the National Organisation for Women.

So the story continues with the feisty princess and the sarcastic and witty dragon who has a few pithy one-liners in response to our heroine as she tries to save the day. The dragon especially is a formidable foe. He is a sinister, conniving, talking dragon but one that is also open to negotiation, rather than being a simple "beast" like dragon. This makes the story more interesting in our opinion and allows for more fun as Princess Elizabeth negotiates her way to Prince Ronald's release.

Depending on which region you've purchased the book will depend on what Princess Elizabeth says to Prince Ronald at the end of the story. Will they marry? Or will he be called a bum or a toad and they won't marry after all?

Recommended?: you can never have too many children's books, especially when they're so witty, funny and equal rights friendly. The Paper Bag Princess is a modern-day literary classic, a fun, quick read that's perfect for young fans of dragons!

You can listen to the full-audio book of The Paper Bag Princess, read by Robert Munsch himself, for free, by clicking the listen button at the following link: The Paper Bag Princess Audio Book.

You can also play an amazing and completely retro text adventure game based on the book, by Adri, over at

If you want to check out more of Robert Munsch's extensive back catalogue of kids books, visit his official website

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