The Twelve Dancing Princessesby Brigette Barrager
The talented Brigette Barrager lavishly illustrates this beautiful retelling of the Grimm Brothers' "The Twelve Dancing Princesses." In this fairy tale, twelve princesses wake up every morning to find their shoes are worn out and they are totally exhausted! A handsome suitor discovers that the princesses are enchanted, and that each night, in their sleep, they… See more details below
The talented Brigette Barrager lavishly illustrates this beautiful retelling of the Grimm Brothers' "The Twelve Dancing Princesses." In this fairy tale, twelve princesses wake up every morning to find their shoes are worn out and they are totally exhausted! A handsome suitor discovers that the princesses are enchanted, and that each night, in their sleep, they travel to a magical world to dance at a ball. Will this handsome suitor be able to break the spell and rescue the princesses?
With art resembling that of animated film and several graceful dance scenes, this story could easily be set to a sound track. ...a pleasing tale for reading aloud and storytelling" - School Library Journal
The particular challenge of redoing a well-known, oft-published fairy tale is to offer a fresh or fruitful take, and this one doesn't.
Digital illustrations vary in format from spot art to full-bleed spreads, but everything from the begowned princesses to the sparkling underground land they visit each night falls flat. The princesses are named for blossoms, each one "lovelier than the flower she was named for," but their impossibly tiny waists and huge blue eyes look like a cheap, dull version of Disney. Their dance postures barely connote motion. On the page that displays the tale's premise—that "[e]very morning, without fail, the soles of the princesses' shoes were worn out and full of holes"—Barrager shows (nine) slippers that are grubby and scuffed but lack a single hole. Matching the insipid aesthetic is a text stripped of grit. No men lose their lives trying to solve the mystery before the hero (here, Pip the cobbler) does, and there are no men in the princesses' underground boats, which "float silently" of their own accord. The boats need to float of their own accord, because these princesses have neither agency nor consciousness: They're asleep from start to finish of the dancing escapades.
In addition to this mind-numbingly bland attempt to capitalize on princess fads, a Princess Matching Game is sold separately. (Picture book/fairy tale. 3-5)
The New York Times
- Chronicle Books LLC
- Publication date:
- Sales rank:
- Product dimensions:
- 9.10(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.60(d)
- Age Range:
- 5 - 8 Years
Meet the Author
Brigette Barrager graduated from the California Institute of the Arts with a BFA in character animation. She inherited her mother's collection of fairy tale books as a child, and her love of those magical, fantastic, and dreamy worlds has never left her. She lives in Los Angeles, California, and this is her first book.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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This is a lovely retelling of the old story. Get the matching game to go with it.
Beautiful story and pictures. All the princesses are named after a flower. My 5 year old daughter loves reading this book over and over.