The Twelve Dancing Princesses

Overview

Every night the king locks his daughters in their room. Yet every morning their shoes are full of holes. Where do they go night after night, and what do they do to wear out their shoes? Many princes have tried to solve the mystery, but all have failed. Now it is a poor soldier’s turn. Will he be able to discover the secret of the twelve dancing princesses?

A retelling of the tale of 12 princesses who dance secretly all night long and the poor soldier who follows ...

See more details below
Hardcover
$14.64
BN.com price
(Save 18%)$17.95 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (15) from $10.60   
  • New (10) from $10.60   
  • Used (5) from $10.79   
Note: Kids' Club Eligible. See More Details.
Sending request ...

Overview

Every night the king locks his daughters in their room. Yet every morning their shoes are full of holes. Where do they go night after night, and what do they do to wear out their shoes? Many princes have tried to solve the mystery, but all have failed. Now it is a poor soldier’s turn. Will he be able to discover the secret of the twelve dancing princesses?

A retelling of the tale of 12 princesses who dance secretly all night long and the poor soldier who follows them and discovers where they dance.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 4?With the aid of a magic cloak, a soldier discovers how and why 12 princesses dance holes in their shoes every night. Bell's translation of the classic tale is superb. Her polished, lucid narrative is beautifully enhanced by Duntze's elegant, stylized paintings done in a cool, pale palette. Each princess has unique features, enabling readers to follow individuals through the book, and the artist manages to convey their personalities as well. Shoes are literally scattered throughout, from the endpapers to the jester who juggles an assortment of footwear to the boats that bear the princesses to the enchanted castle. There are a few minor inconsistencies: the cut of one of the princess's gowns seems to change and she loses her ornate hat as well, and not all the gowns on the cover match those inside. While this may seem nitpicky, detail is one of the qualities that make the illustrations so enticing. Still, there is plenty here for avid fairy tale fans to pore over. A refreshing new look for an old favorite that will be at home in any collection.?Donna L. Scanlon, Lancaster County Library, PA
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Publishers Weekly
Using a light touch and a fanciful, indeterminate setting (is it medieval? is it Edwardian? is it Venetian?), Duntze freshens up an old favorite, the tale of a crafty soldier who outwits a dozen princesses determined to dance the night away. Her sherbet-hued palette, her elegantly precise lines and her evident pleasure in details add up to luscious fantasy, easily incorporating the magical elements of the story (a cloak that renders the wearer invisible, trees of silver, leaves of diamonds). Even the endpapers, scattered with a dozen pairs of tiny stylish shoes, hint of wonder. From start to finish, a pure delight. Ages 5-8.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
"Once upon a time" a king had twelve beautiful daughters. Every night he locks them in their room and every morning they mysteriously have worn holes in their shoes. Many princes try to solve this mystery, but all in vain. One day a poor soldier is told by an old woman how he can figure it out. He manages for three nights to follow them down to where they dance with princes; then he tells the king. As a reward, he gets to marry the eldest princess and to succeed the king. Duntze exploits the large pages to present scenes that suggest a fashion show. We watch as the young women dress for their night out, then parade off to the dancing in a swirl of action. Very fine pencil line plus washes of transparent paint produce a wide variety of imaginative finery on tall, slim bodies. The jacket/cover offers a close-up of the dancing; the end pages display the scattered shoes on a delicate carpet. The traditional tale is given here a superb new visual interpretation. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Rebecca Zerkin
Isadora, who won a Caldecott Honor for Ben's Trumpet, about a boy who dreams of becoming a jazz musician, rescues the text with bright, crisp collages reminiscent of Eric Carle's work. Like Paschkis, Isadora uses ornate textiles as cultural symbols. Some dancers wear detailed, realistic renderings of African fabrics in a range of styles: yellow, blue and brown zigzags; delicate, interlocking purple diamonds; thin stripes in brown and black. Others wear bold gowns painted with thick, textured brushstrokes. Their radiant faces, often shown in perfect profile, have dramatic skin tones, complicated striations of brown, yellow, orange or black. Isadora's dynamic, crowded scenes, often mounted on simple white backgrounds, spill over the edges of each two-page spread. Even a quiet illustration of the soldier resting alone in his room seems larger than life, as if we are lying right next to him. Though the story will not inspire, children will delight in Isadora's lively illustrations.
—The New York Times
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Using a light touch and a fanciful, indeterminate setting (is it medieval? is it Edwardian? is it Venetian?), Duntze freshens up an old favorite, the tale of a crafty soldier who outwits a dozen princesses determined to dance the night away. Her sherbet-hued palette, her elegantly precise lines and her evident pleasure in details add up to luscious fantasy, easily incorporating the magical elements of the story (a cloak that renders the wearer invisible, trees of silver, leaves of diamonds). Even the endpapers, scattered with a dozen pairs of tiny stylish shoes, hint of wonder. From start to finish, a pure delight. Ages 5-8. (Nov.)
Children's Literature - Uma Krishnaswami
In a newly illustrated rendition of Anthea Bell's translation from the German, here again is that classic tale of the princesses who steal away each night from their closely guarded bedrooms and come back with their shoes mysteriously in holes. Duntze's paintings are fanciful and elegant, and in keeping with the dreamy quality of the story. Sometimes she surprises the reader by importing a cultural component that seems oddly in contrast with the rest of her artwork, as in the juxtaposition of the figures of the jester and the scribe. Nothing revolutionary, but this is a pleasant book, adding to the genre of classical tales retold for contemporary children.
Children's Literature - Meredith Kiger
This is a very strange story about a king who had twelve daughters. Although he sent them off to bed early each night, each morning the princesses were tired and their slippers were worn out. The princesses would not tell their father why they were so tired, so he issues a decree; whomever shall find the reason for their tiredness will marry the princess he chooses and inherit the kingdom. Traditional folktale drawings and text as well as the sexist outcome make the story unappealing in today's world.
Children's Literature - Ken and Sylvia Marantz
As she did with The Princess and the Pea, Isadora moves a well-known tale from the Brothers Grimm to Africa. The basic story remains the same. A king wants to find out how his twelve daughters, locked in their room each night, wear out their shoes by morning. He offers one of the princesses as a wife to whoever can explain it. Armed with a cloak of invisibility and some good advice, a soldier discovers where they go and tells the king, winning a princess. The double-page scenes are dazzling because Isadora creates her characters and settings from a variety of papers, some made with oil paints and others commercially printed with vivid patterns. She cuts simple shapes and combines them in the narrative sequences in a lively style, guaranteeing a light-hearted range of emotional responses. Unfortunately, the areas of Africa that inspire the striking costumes are not identified. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal

K-Gr 3
Isadora relocates the setting of this story to the court of an African kingdom, and the result is a delightfully original version of the traditional tale. Double-page collage illustrations, crafted using oil paints, printed paper, and palette paper, feature a variety of African art and cultural motifs. The lovely princesses, whose skin tones range from light brown to deep ebony, are arrayed in a colorful range of traditional folk costumes, jewelry, and hairstyles. Beginning with the stunning cover, featuring exuberant dancing couples and huge white letters placed against a dramatic black background, Isadora's art evokes an air of high-spirited romance. Throughout, dramatic collages move the story forward at a lively pace. The dance scenes in particular, elegantly composed and detailed, come alive with swirls of movement. With her innovative re-imagining and masterful art, Isadora has created a memorable version of this tale that complements other fine retellings, such as those by Errol Le Cain (Puffin, 1981) and Jane Ray (Dutton, 1996), and extends the appeal of this timeless tale to a new audience of readers.
—Marilyn TaniguchiCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

School Library Journal
Gr 2-4-- Carter has chosen the elaborate French version of the Grimms' simple tale as the basis of her retelling. A handsome young cowherd named Michael, with the aid of a mysterious lady and two enchanted laurel trees, discovers how the king's 12 bewitched daughters dance their slippers full of holes each night and marries the youngest princess. Carter's text is much more smoothly written than Mayer's (Morrow, 1989), with an easy flow and a slight formality that suits the mannered tale well. Subtle touches of humor and hints that there may be more to the story than readers are being told add depth and help to maintain readers' interest. Unfortunately, Dalton's illustrations undermine that interest. Her faces are particularly distracting--flat and insipid and unbelievable. The beautiful and haughty princesses only look vapid, with the same expression (or lack thereof) repeated over and over. In an elaborate double-page spread, when Princess Lina declares her love for Michael, both central figures look like dolts. Their round, open mouths and awkward postures detract from the drama of the scene and make it hard to take the story seriously. Faces aside, Dalton does an effective job with the settings. The silver forest is glitters, the costumes have an appropriate confectionery richness, and the small drawings that appear on several pages add a nice decorative note. Overall, this is a serviceable addition to collections in which illustrated folk and fairy tales are in demand, and should find further use as a read-aloud. --Linda Boyles, Alachua County Library District, Gainesville, FL
Janice Del Negro
nger for reading aloud. Twelve princesses go to bed at night with their shoes intact and wake with the soles worn through in this fantastical tale, seamlessly translated from the German. Duntze's watercolors more than meet the challenge of the fantasy: her princesses lounge in silks and satins, roam through underground woods of silver and diamonds, and dance the night away on a parquet floor in an underground palace. Graceful figures in elaborate dress are placed in stylized, formal settings, and there is a wealth of colors and textures to engage and delight. An easy sell to a wide range of readers.
Kirkus Reviews
The familiar tale from the Brothers Grimm receives a bright treatment in an unspecified African setting. As she did with Yo, Jo! (April 2007) and The Princess and the Pea (June 2007), Isadora uses her new collage technique which combines Eric Carle-like painted paper and bright prints against clean white space, to tell her story. The text hews to the original, simplifying it somewhat but leaving the essential plot and structure intact, allowing the images to take center stage. The princesses are a rainbow, dark-, light- and medium-brown skins on bodies of varying shapes and heights, their dresses a riot of color. Visually gorgeous though it is, however, there is reason to be concerned with the arbitrary relocation of a German tale to Africa-an Africa, moreover, that owes more to an idealized conglomeration of vague sub-Saharan images than to any real evocation of a specific time or place. While this fairy-tale retelling avoids the grievous cultural misstep of the earlier Princess and the Pea, it still feels more self-indulgent than anything else, less a startling new interpretation than an opportunity to explore color, design and technique. (Picture book. 4-8)
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780735841215
  • Publisher: North-South Books, Inc.
  • Publication date: 6/1/2013
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 799,419
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD860L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 11.10 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Dorothee Duntze was born in Reims, France. She studied art at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Reims and the Ecole des Arts Decoratifs in Strasbourg. Among the other books she has illustrated for North-South are The Emperor's New Clothes, The Princess and the Pea, and Hansel and Gretel.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)