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The Paper Princess Finds Her Way

Last updated Thursday, January 3, 2008

Author: Elisa Kleven
Date of Publication: 1999
ISBN: 0525469117
Grade Level: 3rd    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Jan. 2008

Synopsis: From Booklist: The paper princess, with her leaf-print dress, starry socks, and watermelon shoes, returns for her second far-flung adventure. When the girl who made Princess stops playing with her because she is growing up, Princess decides she wants to change, too. The wind whisks her off on a journey where she meets a cat, a baby, computerized toys, and a boy who makes her angel wings, so she can decorate the top of his Christmas tree. The tree is eventually thrown away, and rain and snow batter the princess. Then spring arrives, and butterflies recognize a kindred spirit and carry Princess aloft to fly south with them, where a young girl from a small village (never defined but possibly in Mexico) finds her. The sprightly mixed-media artwork, in Kleven's familiar colorfully decorative style, creates a breezy feeling for this heartening sequel about everyday change, strong spirits, and finding one's way.

Note to readers:
•  Vocabulary: Forged, fortified, trotted, tattered, fragile, skittering

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  What kind of butterflies are on the cover? (Monarchs; Monarchs migrate like birds)
•  Is there a Prince and/or Princess in America?
•  Are there Princes and Princesses in other countries? Do you know which countries have Princes and Princesses? (Japan, England, Denmark, Spain, Monte Carlo...)
•  What is a prince or princess?

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Have you ever outgrown your toys? What happens to them?
•  Do you talk to your toys?
•  Do you ever play with paper dolls or toys you made yourself?
•  Do you need batteries or computer chips to fly? What toy can fly without them? (Kites, paper airplanes...)
•  What do you decorate a Christmas tree with?
•  What will happen to the paper princess if she is left outside in the snow?
•  Have you ever been to Monterey, Mexico (show them the place on the map)? This is where Monarch butterflies migrate to; they have a big festival each year to celebrate this.
•  Do you think the paper dog at the end of the book is the same dog that helped the Paper Princess in the beginning?

Craft ideas:
•  Make a Paper Princess or Prince and his/her dog. Decorate the doll and attach wings. Try to fly the Princess in the wind.
•  Make a Paper Prince/ Princess Chain - fold the paper accordion style. Draw a Princess/Prince so that the arms/legs are on the fold. Cut it out and unfold.
•  Make a Monarch Butterfly. Fold a white piece of paper in half. Cut out half of a butterfly on the fold. Unfold and see a Monarch Butterfly. Color the wings and try to fly it. You can glue a popsicle stick in the middle as the body too.

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don't have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!