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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fuse 8 n’ Kate: The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch, ill. Michael Martchenko

paperbagprincessI try to talk a little less loudly in this episode since I feel like, in my excitement, I’ve been blowing out the speaker systems. So I found a nice calm little book and discussed it in a nice calm little way. Fear not, though. There is PLENTY to pick apart. The fact that a Dude In Distress can be simplified to simply “The D.I.D.” Who you would cast as the dragon in the movie of this book (which, let’s admit it, it’s a little weird that it HASN’T been turned into an animated full-length feature film yet)? And how exactly do you pronounce “Munsch”? All will be made clear.

Listen to the whole show here on Soundcloud or download it through iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, or your preferred method of podcast selection.


Show Notes:

– Here is the particular compendium that we were working off of this time around. Useful book to find on a library’s shelves, I must say.


– Kudos to Mr. Munsch for including all kinds of wonderful information for each of his books on his website. With that in mind, here’s his page for The Paper Bag Princess.

– I think we had the image of the princess punching Ronald in the nose in an early draft of Wild Things: Acts of Mischief in Children’s Literature.

– Separated at birth? Ronald and the brother from William’s Doll.


– “He has the nicest sense of humor.”


– Just a whole flurry of horse’s bones. What is the collective noun for horse bones, by the way? I’m going with “flurry”.




– “Puff the Magic Dragon”.  Sheesh. Her words. Not mine.


– The dragon, doing his best inspecting-my-nails Bugs Bunny imitation. Is there a term for this action? I associate it with Warner Brothers more than anything else.


– I dunno. I think I kind of want to see the version of this where the princess takes Ronald’s clothes when he criticizes her.

– I know that Kate’s usually the one who gets to choose the tattoo, but this week this is my tattoo. I know I said I’d do her crown, but this is better.


–  . . . . EXCEPT . . . . fool that I am, I never noticed that Annick Press’s logo was this VERY image!!


– Here, by the way, is a tattoo that someone else got.


– This is the great school photography project photograph that I love so very very much.


– It comes in at #86 on the Top 100 Picture Book polls.

– I quote from Tales for Little Rebels. Can’t help but always recommend this book. It was ahead of its time when it first came out.


– Here is what The Toast had to say about The Paper Bag Princess.

– Now, here is the opening to the Canadian children’s show Bunch of Munsch. Pause, if only for a moment, and imagine if America ever did this for a living American children’s author. I’m going to say it. I’m a little jealous.

And here is their version of The Paper Bag Princess. I do not necessarily recommend that you watch, however. Not unless you were hoping for some really terrible late 80s/early 90s pseudo-rap.

– I really do want to compliment Leda on coming up with the world’s greatest elephant villain in a children’s book. She’s not wrong. It’s in The Elephant Who Like to Smash Small Cars.


– And finally, here’s the podcast I love so much: Stuff You Missed in History Class. And the episodes I particularly call out is Unearthed: Part One and Unearthed: Part Two.


About Elizabeth Bird

Elizabeth Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.


  1. Dear Betsy and Kate, Thank you for your podcast ( and Betsy, for this blog, that I follow faithfully every day at my very short lunch). I love your humor and insight and really value, professionally, how the discussions and reviews enrich my teaching. Having been a librarian and with kids of your own you know what actually works as a read- aloud. Reviews don’t always take this into consideration. I had totally forgotten The Paper Bag Princess, and now will read it aloud with all grade levels, K-5! The same for Big Red Lollipop. I bought it when it was first published because I am always trying to expand the cultures represented in my collection, but didn’t appreciate it beyond the cursory look I gave it at the time. Again, because of your podcast I am now excited to share it with all grade levels, including the author’s video. Thank you again, so much!

  2. I have been to Romania and there are indeed many, many forests!

  3. Tally Deushane says

    I have been reading the notes of your podcast for AGES and finally broke down and listened because The Paper Bag Princess is an all-time favorite for me. (I’ve since listened to 10 more episodes this weekend.)

    Robert Munsch is an absolute favorite for my Kindergarten students. We have been doing Classroom Book A Day this year, and out of the 119 days of our school year so far, our CBAD book has been Robert Munsch at least 15 times. The more Munsch you read (particularly those illustrated by Martchenko, which is most of his books, unless they have a particularly serious theme), the more Easter Eggs you can find in the illustrations. The dragon from Paper Bag Princess is hidden in at least a dozen Munsch books. (Here are just a few circled on the cover of Finding Christmas–there are more in that picture.

    Paper Bag Princess is the second book on which Munsch and Martchenko collaborated, and it’s totally worth a flip through some of his more recent books to see the improvement in the illustrations with far fewer horse bones. Unfortunately, most of Munsch’s recent books are only published in Canada, but I visit a bookstore whenever I’m in Toronto to stock up. I could read a different Munsch book for Classroom Book A Day and not run out for 67 days. (He’s written 68 books, but, of course, I’d skip Love You Forever.) And my students wouldn’t even get bored. He refines his stories by telling them to groups of children, so they flow really well as read alouds.

    I could honestly go on for significantly longer about my Munsch obsession and various bits of Munsch trivia, but I will stop here.

  4. This morning I read this book to a class of preschoolers, and when I read, “They didn’t get married after all,” one kid said emphatically, “GOOD.” It kind of made my day. That’s all.