This week, we sent off the 70th printing of The Paper Bag Princess. Originally published in 1980, The Paper Bag Princess has inspired children for 32 years with its tale of the daring Elizabeth and her journey to outwit a ferocious dragon and save her prince (who turns out to be... well... not all that princely). The final scene, with Elizabeth leaping for joy as she heads off into the sunset, later became Annick's logo.
The Paper Bag Princess is available in paperback, hardcover, Annikin edition, and board book. There's also a special 25th Anniversary Edition that contains not only the original story, but also tons of behind-the-scenes extras such as:
- Why Robert Munsch decided to start writing picture books
- How Annick paired up Robert Munsch and Michael Martchenko
- The real Elizabeth who inspired the story: she was seven at the time and is now married with a daughter of her own
- A step-by-step look at how picture books are created and published
- Early sketches from Michael Martchenko, including some that didn't make it into the final book
The ending of The Paper Bag Princess is now world famous: the snotty prince doesn't want to be rescued by Elizabeth because she's a mess. In the original story, Elizabeth bops him one for being so rude and ungrateful, as you can see in this sketch. But hitting people--even arrogant princes who just might deserve it--isn't appropriate, and Bob and his publishers decided to take it out. Instead, Elizabeth tells off the so-called prince and then leaves him behind, proving that true nobility has nothing to do with appearances and everything to do with behavior.
If you have your own memories of The Paper Bag Princess to share, please leave us a comment!