Twelve Dancing Princesses

Twelve Dancing Princesses

4.8 7
by Marianna Mayer, Kinuko F. Craft
     
 

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For generations, children have loved the enchanting story of the twelve beautiful princesses and the handsome young lad who solves the mystery of their tattered shoes.

Now Marianna Mayer brings to life all the splendor and romance of this beloved classic, from the dazzling forests Of silver, gold, and diamonds to a twilight palace where the bewitched princesses

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Overview

For generations, children have loved the enchanting story of the twelve beautiful princesses and the handsome young lad who solves the mystery of their tattered shoes.

Now Marianna Mayer brings to life all the splendor and romance of this beloved classic, from the dazzling forests Of silver, gold, and diamonds to a twilight palace where the bewitched princesses dance to hypnotic music. And award-winning artist Kinuko Craft add, her own magic: a visual feast of exquisite, jewel-like paintings that sweep across the pages.

Together, Mayer and Craft have created an unforgettable world that readers of all ages will want to return to again and again.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Craft's richly hued illustrations create a magical setting for Mayer's polished version of this romantic fairy tale. The story centers on the mysterious enchantment to which the King's 12 daughters have fallen prey: although locked in their bedchamber at night, each morning they emerge pale and tired, with their satin dancing slippers worn through. It is Peter, a humble gardener, who succeeds where dozens of princes have failed, eventually breaking the spell that has bound them. With skillful use of lighting, texture and detail and a fine sense of mood, Craft captures both the regal opulence of the King's court and the shimmery, ethereal beauty of the subterranean world of the all-night dancing, resulting in a lavish feast for the eyes and the imagination. All ages. (Mar.)
Children's Literature - Nancy Partridge
This is a retelling of the well-known fairytale, accompanied by splendid illustrations that draw the reader in with their lush beauty. They reveal the atmosphere of enchantment that falls over the princesses, turning their hearts to ice and forcing them to dance every night in a semi-twilight world. The humility of the hero, a common gardener, finally manages to win over the youngest princess, and their true love breaks the chain of magic that enslaves everyone. Imaginatively written and finely illustrated, this is a picture book sure to be enjoyed by everyone who loves fairytales. 1998, (orig.
School Library Journal
Gr 2-4-- In this lavishly illustrated but poorly structured retelling of the classic Grimm tale, Mayer retains little of the original, making major and inexplicable changes in the story. Abandoning the direct simplicity of the folk tradition found in Errol Le Cain's version (Penguin, 1981), Mayer fundamentally alters the main characters, making the old soldier a golden-haired youth, the eldest daughter the youngest, and the old crone a mystifying vision of a ``regal'' woman. She further confuses the plot by introducing several new and unnecessary elements which are never fully developed (a fortune-teller, a ``half-forgotten'' prophecy), leaving the plot muddled and readers feeling cheated. Mayer's prose contributes to the muddle, relying on long cliched descriptions and an excessive use of adjectives (``the wizened old fortune-teller's eyes burned bright, and her thin voice crooned like a haunting echo''). Overall, the language is too ornate and cumbersome to sustain children's interest or be effective as a read-aloud. Craft's illustrations are much more successful. For the most part, her paintings are rich and luminous, appropriately depicting the romanticized couple in an opulent fairy tale setting. Several are striking in their design and use of light, but a few are disconcertingly flat and garish. Evocative vignettes, placed on nearly every page, elaborate small details of setting or action. While Craft's illustrations make this an attractive addition to folk/fairy tale collections, Mayer's overblown text is inappropriate for both the genre and the intended audience. Libraries with a strong demand for multiple versions of fairy tales may want to purchase this for the illustrations alone, but those owning the Le Cain version can pass it by.-- Linda Boyles, Alachua County Library, Gainesville, Fla.
Asimov's Science Fiction
...[A] robust retelling by Marianna Mayer.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780688143923
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
10/28/1998
Series:
Mulberry Bks.
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
40
Sales rank:
573,738
Product dimensions:
11.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.00(d)
Lexile:
AD750L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

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