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‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
Twelve Dancing Princesses (The)
by Retold by Mary Hoffman from a tale by the Brothers Grimm
Age Range: 9-11
This is a retelling of the Brothers Grimm fairy tale by well-known author Mary Hoffman. Twelve beautiful princesses’, who are all named after a flower, create a mystery at the palace when their twelve pairs of slippers appear torn and in tatters each morning. The palace shoemakers are worn out and the King is at a loss of what to do.
Despite the princesses’ being locked in their room each night and the castle securely guarded they still manage to leave it during the night to go dancing and every morning their slippers are in shreds with the princesses’ pale and tired. The King issues a proclamation to all the young men in his kingdom inviting them to solve the mystery of the princesses’ night-time adventures. If successful they can choose whichever princess they wish to marry but should they fail then they will lose their life. When a poor soldier comes to the palace door to discover their secret will he lose his life as all the others have before him?
French illustrator Miss Clara, following on from her beautifully illustrated version of The Snow Queen has produced another sumptuous array of illustrations for The Twelve Dancing Princesses. She creates her illustrations by making miniature maquettes of her characters and building detailed scenes in which to photograph them. The illustrations really are truly exquisite making this an enchanting edition of a Grimm’s fairy tale.