It's always funny to go back and see the movies you used to watch and read the books you used to have read to you as a child. Often they are rich with puns and humour that flew right over your head, and sometimes they contain an excellent moral or point that you can only truly appreciate now that you have lived life a little longer.
One such book for me is The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch. Like many people my age, I grew up hearing this story over and over again. At the time I thought it was just a fun story about a princess who outsmarted a dragon. It wasn't until a couple years ago that I found this pocket sized copy at the bookstore, and discovered that it is so much more than that.
The Paper Bag Princess is about Princess Elizabeth, a beautiful princess who lives in a beautiful castle and is engaged to marry the handsome Prince Ronald, when her castle, her clothes and everything she owns is burt to the ground by a fire-breathing dragon. To make matters worse, the dragon kidnaps Prince Ronald and takes him back to his cave. Donning the only thing she can find--a plain brown paper bag--Elizabeth sets out to save him. Elizabeth is very smart, and manages to trick the dragon and free Ronald. Sadly, Ronald doesn't turn out to be worth the effort. When he sees Elizabeth with singed hair and wearing a paper bag, he can't even muster up a thank you, and instead tells her to come back later when she looks like a real princess. Ouch! Thankfully, being the smart girl she is, Elizabeth realizes that a prince like that is not the prince for her! The final page of the book cracks me up every time I read it:
"'Ronald, ' said Elizabeth, 'your clothes are really pretty and your hair is all neat. You look like a real prince, but you are a bum.' They didn't get married after all."
For a child, this book is all entertainment with not much to offer on the educational side. But the moral is still there. It teaches that there is more to a person than their outward appearance, and that people who put you down are not worth listening to. It's a lesson that us older gals need to hear often.
As I stood giggling in the bookstore, I realized that this was a message worth sharing. So, I picked up a handful of the pocket sized copies to give to the girls in my life who are truly beautiful inside and out, but who need to be reminded of that from time to time. I hope it continues to make them smile as much as it does me.
I highly recommend picking up a copy of this book for the princesses in your life--no matter how old they are. Even if your girls are to young to "get it" now, it will be a great book for them to have later.