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From the PublisherFrom 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.