VIDEO: The Making of Princess Hyacinth and The Ruining of Paper Bag Princess

by Tom B.

Princess Hyacinth

Princess Hyacinth quietly waits for me to shut up about princesses...

To briefly clarify a point that probably doesn’t need to be clarified, just FYI, this isn’t just a blog about princess books. I’m kidding… kind of, but I know I’ve had a lot of princess-related content this week, so I just wanted to let people know that I’m still going to be covering a wide range of topics related to collecting the right kinds of books for your kids. Some weeks we’re going to be talking about princess titles, other weeks we’ll be talking about ABC books or road-trip books (no question – Richard Scarry makes the BEST road-trip books). But the princess thing has definitely struck a nerve and I’m glad we’re addressing it.

As I’ve done in the past, I’ve found some very interesting video online to accompany our recent discussion of princess books. This week’s clips… how do I put this… are both FANTASTIC, but for very different reasons. The first clip is just a ridiculously interesting and engaging look at how author-illustrator Lane Smith, a Building a Library favorite, actually creates his breathtaking picture books. The two books he focuses on are Princess Hyacinth: The Surprising Tale of a Girl Who Floated (one of our featured princess books) and The Big Elephant in the Room, a book that my five-year-old has called “the funniest book I ever, EVER read.” This is a bit long and in-depth, but I find it totally fascinating.

The second clip is “fantastic”… in the most ironic sense of the word. What I mean is that – I find it “fantastic” that something this cheesy could ever be associated with a book as sly and un-ironic as Robert Munsch’s The Paper Bag Princess (another one of our “princess books for people who hate princess books”). This is a cartoon adaptation of The Paper Bag Princess that was created for a Canadian TV show in the 1990s called “Bunch of Munsch.” (How much do I love Canada for not only giving a children’s author his own animated show, but also NAMING it after him too?) And, while I applaud the idea of giving Munsch his own show… MAN, this is a horribly dated cartoon.

I am sure that there are people out there with a boatload of nostalgia for “Bunch of Munsch” and maybe I’m being overdramatic, but, seriously, the dragon RAPS. He RAPS. He has a song – that he raps – and the first line is “Dragon is my name and fire is my game.” WOW. Watch for historical reference only.

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