On Robert Munsch’s official website he gives the background behind writing The Paper Bag Princess.
The Paper Bag Princess was first told at the Bay Area Childcare Center in Coos Bay Oregon where I had a job in 1973 and 1974. I had been telling lots and lots of dragon stories. They were all fairly regular dragon stories where the prince saves the princess from the dragon.
One day my wife, who also worked at the daycare centre, came to me and said “How come you always have the prince save the princess? Why can’t the princess save the prince?”
And so he did.
I love Munsch and when my daughter was growing up, she had all his books in her collection. I especially liked the stories illustrated by Michael Martchenko whose colorful style was quintessential Munsch.
In his write-up the author tells us that The Paper Bag Princess book ending was different based on country of publishing.
In it’s original form, for the North American market:
“Ronald,” said Elizabeth “Your clothes are really pretty and your hair is very neat. You look like a real prince but you are a bum.”
In England, Australia and New Zealand, Elizabeth says “… You look like a real prince but you are a toad.”
Canada being ever so polite, published in both forms.
Toronto, Canada. 2019