BOOK REVIEW (54): The Twelve Dancing Princesses

The Twelve Dancing Princesses

I love reading fairy tales. I think it’s one of those things I’ll never fully outgrow. They’re not always meant for children, and there’s nothing like analyzing a fairy tale, its theme and archetypes that can get me motivated to write.
One of my favourite fairy tales is ‘The Twelve Dancing Princesses’.
It also happens to be one of those stories that seem to lack a definite theme* like some other well-known tales (i.e. ‘Cinderella’, ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears’, ‘Little Red Riding Hood’, etc.)
This picture book is not a retelling, and rather a different illustrative take. I know very little about art, but I enjoyed looking at illustrator Dorothee Duntze’s perspective of this fairy tale.
I loved the colours, and the recurrent motif of the shoes (especially the final scene of the big shoe podium in the wedding). The fairy tale is borrowed from the Grimm version, and I know at least that the execution of the unsuccessful princes by the King remains the same.
So same story, different art – and the effect is a short-paged, yet beautifully illustrated book. If you’re as interested in ‘The Twelve Dancing Princesses” as I am, pick up Duntze’s artistic take on the folktale.
*My guess at a theme would be the importance of having equal opportunity no matter your background (the solider). OR not necessarily that everyone gets equal opportunity. I probably couldn’t outrun a bear, but someone with parkour skills might be able to. So, the princes who kept trying and dying in their attempt to solve the mystery of the dancing princesses were not cut out for it – but a poor, wounded solider had the right skills (e.g. stopping to chat with the old lady who gave him the invisible cloak) to solve the mystery and win himself a royal wife and a title.
My verdict:

(5 stars)

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