Reviews for Twelve Dancing Princesses


Horn Book Guide Reviews 1997
The king's daughters wear out their dancing slippers nightly, but only when a poor soldier, in a cloak of invisibility, follows them is their secret revealed. Ray takes advantage of the tale's visual possibilities by giving the princesses distinguishing characteristics: each wears a unique, elegantly patterned gown, for example. Hints of the invisible soldier's whereabouts and gold highlights add a sense of enchantment. Copyright 1998 Horn Book Guide Reviews

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 1996 September #4
Nobody knows how to party like these 12 princesses who first twinkled their toes in a Brothers Grimm tale. These young ladies manage to hide their wild nights out from everyone?especially their father, who would never allow such behavior. But each morning the king discovers a dozen pairs of freshly shredded dancing shoes and an exhausted brood of daughters. At wit's end, the king offers a princess's hand in marriage to any man who can expose the daughters' mysterious escapades. Ray's (Magical Tales from Many Lands; Noah's Ark) adaptation reads well as a timeless story of children's rebellion against strict parental rule, adopting a "girls just wanna have fun" attitude toward deceiving the king. In her distinctive style, Ray saturates each page with lush, intricate backgrounds and patterns, whisking readers away to an elegant dream world. Her lavish, richly hued scenes of trees dripping with diamonds and exquisite ball gowns shimmering in the moonlight are the grand stuff of fairy tale fantasy. Ages 4-8. (Oct.) Copyright 1996 Cahners Business Information.

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School Library Journal Reviews 1996 October
PreS-Gr 3 Ray employs a lush, vibrant palette and an earthy, textured folk style for her interpretation of the Grimm fairy tale about the princesses who dance their shoes to pieces every night. The jewel-toned paintings are highlighted with touches of gold that enrich and add dimension to them. Ray scatters subtle touches of humor and charming details throughout. The princesses' intricately patterned ball gowns remain consistent surely a challenge for an illustrator apart from the scene where they are dancing with their princes. Here, two of the young women appear to be wearing the same gown and another, apparently crowded off the left-hand side of the double spread, has two right hands. This minor flaw does not detract from the overall appeal of the book, with its crisply worded text that serves as a vehicle for the illustrations and meshes nicely with them. A vivid contrast to the sophisticated, stylized lines and cool, pale colors of Dorothee Duntze's version (North-South, 1995), Ray's lavish, sensory feast proves that there is always room for one more. Donna L. Scanlon, Lancaster County Library, PA Copyright 1998 School Library Journal Reviews

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