Children’s Book Giveaway: The Paper Bag Princess.
May 18, 2010

The Paper Bag Princess (written by Robert Munsch and illustrated by Michael Martchenko) is brilliant.  It tells the story of a strong-willed, courageous, and feisty princess named Elizabeth.  After a dragon destroys her castle, burns her clothes, and kidnaps her fiancé, Prince Ronald, the clever princess dons a paper bag and sets out to save her handsome prince.  Once she tracks down the dragon, she tricks him into falling asleep so that she can rescue Prince Ronald. I have no intention of spoiling the end for anyone who may not have already read this book, but I will tell you that it makes me smile every time.

What I find most enjoyable about this unconventional fairy tale is this: there are a plethora of valuable lessons for young children.  Lessons about boys and girls, about love and respect, about expectation and disappointment, about independence and standing up for oneself, and, look, I could go on forever here.  The point is that I appreciate that as Charlotte grows, there are so many ways for me to apply this book to her life.

Second to that, I also delight in sharing this book with others.  It is the first book that I pull out whenever anyone comes by the house.  Boys and girls alike of all ages get a big kick out of it, of course, but adults love it too.

That.  Or they all lie to me.  I guess the only way you’ll know is if you go pick up a copy for yourself.

Pros: Where do I even begin?  Honestly, I’m pretty certain that this book is perfect.  You have a strong female character, a large dose of fantasy, a set of fun illustrations, a lesson in gratitude, and a creative ending.  It’s amazing!

Cons: None.  My biggest concern before reading the book was that there would be an over-the-top feminist agenda.  NOT SO.

Borrow or Buy: BUY!  Look, I selected this book because people were constantly recommending Robert Munsch to me.  It turns out they were on to something.  So if you have an extra couple bucks, I highly suggest you pick up a copy.  What’s not to love?

Reading tip: Cook with your baby.  OKAY, I KNOW THIS SOUNDS INSANE, but just trust me on this.  Open up the cookbook and read the recipe out loud.  As you pick out the ingredients from your cabinets, point to the word in the cookbook.  Read the labels on ingredients together.  Again, I know this sounds crazy, and it can be incredibly challenging with a young child.  But, look, it’s an example of every day reading that you probably exhibit and that your kid is bound to be curious about.  And it’s a great way for your child to begin to match up words on paper with actual objects and ideas.

What to do: You can enter this giveaway by leaving a comment below or sending me an e-mail answering this question: how do you reinforce self-respect in your home?  All you need is an e-mail address.  The giveaway ends Thursday evening at 9 P.M. Pacific Time and the winner will be announced Friday morning.  You can leave one entry every day, for a total of up to three entries.

For extra entries: Become a fan of publisher Annick Press on Facebook by clicking here.  Then let me know and I will give you an extra two entries in this and any other 2010 giveaways for Annick Press books.  (Even if you forget to enter those giveaways via comment.)  Those of you who became fans after the review of Leo’s Tree – don’t worry, I remember who you are!

To purchase this book: You can buy The Paper Bag Princess (and I highly recommend that you do) through Amazon.com (that link uses my affiliate code) or locate a local retailer through Indie Bound.org.


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  1. By on May 18, 2010

    I think that the biggest way that we reinforce the self-respect in our house is showing respect to others. If you don’t respect others, you can’t respect yourself.

  2. By on May 18, 2010

    My son is so young but not young enough to always tell him he will be loved no matter what he is, does or believes.  And that he will love others no matter what they are, do ore believe.

    BTW, we love leo’s tree in our house.  He goes for it all the time.  And I still get a lump in my throat every time I read it.  I am such a sucker!

    (Oh and already a fan of Annick. :-) )

  3. By on May 18, 2010

    I don’t know if you have heard any Robert Munsch’s books on tape but you should check them out. I remember listening to this book on tape as a kid and he is hilarious. VERY expressive. I don’t have kids (or am even close) but it’s cool to see this book on your site because it reminds me of when I was growing up.

  4. By Kimberly O'Rosky on May 18, 2010

    Another book to add to my list. It sounds great and the illustrations are super cute. I agree with Leah, the best way to show self-respect is to practice it yourself. Respect everyone around you and show them the common courtesy that you would want them to extend to you.

  5. By Monica on May 18, 2010

    I try to involve my kids in decision making and problem-solving.  If they feel like they are contributing, they will naturally foster respect for their own abilities. 

    p.s.  These posts remind me of that old show “Reading Rainbow” that I loved when I was a kid.

  6. By Heidi on May 18, 2010

    Fostering self-respect begins with modeling self-respect.  As the mother of a daughter, I am very aware of the messages I send to Molly about my body, my work in and out of the home, and how I let others treat me.

    I LOVE this book.  I read it multiple times out loud every year as a classroom teacher.

  7. By Cynthia A on May 18, 2010

    We plan on trying to be a good role models for Bailey.  We want to instill respect through our friendships and marriage.  I want to teach her to be an independent and strong girl by showing her respect. 

    I am a follower of Annick from before

    I also voted for you as usual, both places.

  8. By Megan R. on May 18, 2010

    Through communication and expressiveness within our marriage.  I think that is the best example of self-respect that can be shown…how can you love and communicate well with another if you don’t respect and love yourself? 

    And, this book is now on my list as a must buy.  I will be sure to use your Amazon link when I do..I LOVE AMAZON, by the way!

  9. By Sarah Mudder on May 18, 2010

    We reinforce self-respect by make a daily effort to speak encouraging, gentle words to one another. It makes for a more peaceful household as well!
    Also, Sarah, MY name is Sarah and I just found out I am pregnant with my first little person! SO….maybe I should win, not to be selfish or anything but this baby doesn’t have any books yet! :)

  10. By on May 18, 2010

    Self respect… I hope that by being respectful of others, and being complimentrary of each other, Nia will learn to respect herself, her strong points and her weak points. Also, I hope that if she sees the love in our family, she will know just how she should be treated, and not settle for less.

  11. By on May 18, 2010

    Oh my gosh, this book sounds fabulous. Our as yet unconceived daughter will be called Elizabeth.

  12. By on May 18, 2010

    This is one of my favorite books.  FYI, there is a board book version that is a bit shorter for those of us with babies with short attention spans.  :)

  13. By Beth on May 18, 2010

    We already have this book and we LOVE it!!!  I may start entering again next week since it’s been a couple of months. Okay? :)

  14. By on May 18, 2010

    We have this one too….love it! 
    You’re at #38 on top mommy blogs now.

  15. By Sarahviz on May 18, 2010

    We ADORE Robert Munsch books in my Trenches - Smelly Socks and Mud Puddle are two of my boyz’ faves!

  16. By on May 18, 2010

    Self-respect.. I think it’s best reinforced and taught by serving as an example for the little ones.

  17. By Dandy on May 18, 2010

    Ooooh I must have this book.  Right up my alley.  Right now self-respect in our house is shown by the way we treat each other.

  18. By on May 18, 2010

    I have loved this book since I was a kid! I read my very old copy to my daughter often!!

  19. By on May 18, 2010

    We enforce self-respect by not putting ourselves down and trying to foster a “team” atmosphere of the family. How you treat and love yourself, i believe, is ultimately how your daughter will treat and love herself.

  20. By Lauren @ In the Pudding Club on May 18, 2010

    Oh this book looks fabulous.  I second the idea of showing respect to others and when Eloise becomes older I want to reinforce the idea that her (and anyones) emotions are valid and deserving of room and time to be expressed.  God that sounds so touchy-feely.

  21. By Jill on May 18, 2010

    We are pretty silly and casual in our house, so I have learned to preface critical conversations with the words “This is important to me.“  It’s simple, but makes a difference.

  22. By Elly on May 18, 2010

    Oh hurrah! I LOVED the paperback princess when I was little. Definitely one of my favourites :)

  23. By Mallory on May 18, 2010

    We teach self-respect by respecting others, speaking kindly to one another, and listening. I think really listening to your kids is so important.

  24. By on May 18, 2010

    We are teaching our son self-respect by simply showing him that we respect ourselves and showing respect to him.  Basically following; treat others as you would wish to be treated.

    I am following Annick.

    Also - so excited you have started on the Robert Munsch books - he was a fav of mine growing up!

  25. By LCW on May 18, 2010

    I used this book in conjunction with an art lesson and turned a group of 3 yr olds in to paper bag princesses and princes.  They walked around wearing decorated grocery sized paper bags, it was adorable!

  26. By Kim on May 18, 2010

    Ok, I don’t want to win this because I have had it since I was in college.  I LOVE THIS BOOK!!!  My kids love this book and I love that.  Yay! for Paper Bag Princess!

  27. By *emilie* on May 19, 2010

    (this has nothing to do with that but… i love your shirt in those pics !! )

  28. By on May 19, 2010

    It’s about time! LOL.

  29. By on May 19, 2010

    2nd entry:

    self respect can be learned by taking the time to show interest and pride in the things your children do well, instead of focusing on the areas they may be lacking in.

  30. By Jenny | The Balow Bunch on May 19, 2010

    We don’t have kids yet, but I imagine that we’ll teach self respect through example. My MIL is a prime example of someone with low self-esteem and doesn’t have much respect for herself. Consequently, my FIL and SILs don’t respect her very much. It’s something that I saw and pointed it out my husband, who didn’t notice the behavior until I pointed it out. So my husband and I strive to have respect for ourselves and also for eachother.

  31. By on May 19, 2010

    2nd entry…

  32. By Cynthia A on May 19, 2010

    2nd entry, voted for you today, as always…

  33. By on May 19, 2010

    Hi Sarah, love your blog.  My little princess is just four months now.  We reinforce self respect in our home by making sure that everyone has some “me time.“

  34. By Jill on May 20, 2010

    2nd entry, and became a fan of Annick Press on facebook!

  35. By Jennifer W on May 20, 2010

    Hi Sarah, I just found your blog through Mom-Nom and I love it so far. I am expecting my first child in Sept and I plan on reinforcing self respect by having my husband and I respect each other and ourselves in everything we do. I think leading by example is the best way.

  36. By on May 20, 2010

    This was one of my favorite books when I was younger! It’s so important to me that my daughter learn she is a strong and capable person. My husband and I hope we can be daily examples.

  37. By Lyndsey on May 20, 2010

    Self-respect…Ella is a little too young to grasp the idea but I give her space when I think she needs it and I try to set an example through the way I treat myself and my husband

  38. By on May 21, 2010

    I Love this book!


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