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The Twelve Dancing Princesses
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The Twelve Dancing Princesses

4.3  ·  Rating details ·  727 Ratings  ·  59 Reviews
Ruth Sanderson retells and illustrates the classic Brother Grimm tale with lavish full-color oil paintings.
Paperback, 32 pages
Published October 1st 1993 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (first published April 1st 1990)
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G-o-r-g-e-o-u-s! This version written and illustrated by Ruth Sanderson is now my favourite rendition of the Twelve Dancing Princesses fairy tale, together with the version by the Mayer & Craft duo.
Книжни Криле
Dec 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
„Дванайсет танцуващи принцеси” е една от най-популярните и обичани приказки, публикувани от Братя Грим. Сега обаче пред нас се разкрива възможност да преживеем приказката отново, преразказана по невероятно красив начин от талантливата Рут Сандерсън! Прочетете ревюто на "Книжни Криле":
Miles Mathews
Oct 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Rich illustrations help to make this book a good bed-time story!
Aug 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2013
Very beautiful pictures! Absolutely stunning! If you enjoy reading simple and short versions of classic fairy tales, then you will like this. It tells the story quickly(not surprising since it is a children's picture book) but there is a satisfactory amount of detail. As I said before, very beautiful pictures. The detail is fantastic and they make the story jump off the page. This was a pleasant telling of this story to read.
Antoaneta Kostovska
Красива книга! Обичам я!
Zornitza Ivanova
Суперски илюстрации!
Renée Poffley

This retelling of Grimm’s tale is accessible, mainly because of Sanderson’s vibrant, detailed oil paintings. The story begins with the king’s suspicion of his twelve daughters nightly actions based on the destruction of their gorgeous satin shoes. He enlists eligible young men to discover the answer and promises their pick of a princess to marry, but these men keep disappearing. Then a commoner named Michael receives some advice and an invisibility cloak from an old woman and thus gains a positi

Katie Fitzgerald
I have never been much of a fairy tale reader, but Miss Muffet (3 years, 7 months) and I have both fallen in love with this picture book. For me, it's really the story that is intriguing. I like the element of mystery (why are the princesses' shoes worn out every morning?) and the fact that the underdog (Michael, the garden boy) becomes the hero. For Miss Muffet, I really think it's more about the illustrations, as she asks different questions each time we read it, and she seems completely engro ...more
Mrs B
Sep 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
It's tempting, when praising a fairytale book, to rave about the painting but ignore the writing. In this case, despite the exquisite oil paintings by the author, the writing must also be given its due. The story is beautifully, flowingly, evocatively told. Ruth Sanderson is one talented lady!

What can you say about the illustrations, having gawped at them happily, page after page? I did have doubts, at first, about the half-short half-long hairdo of the Lad in this story (his name is Michael): t
Kayla Rivera
Jan 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s-lit
While the rendition's more kind interpretation of the classic tale is debatable and certainly up to reader's preference, Sanderson bring a new take on the fairytale. Instead of a story about punishing rebellious daughters (most notably the eldest mastermind), it becomes a story of love healing mistakes and crossing class bridges. Perhaps more family friendly, the main character, given a name here as Michael, falls for the youngest princess, a more traditional trope, but perhaps more satisfactory ...more
Sep 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 03-classic-fairy
The illustrations in this particular rendition of the tale of "The Twelve Dancing Princesses" are dazzling; they express each scene in great detail and allows the reader to sense the emotions of this charming tale.

Out of several renditions that I have read of this tale, I greatly enjoyed this one. Compared to the original tale, the story line has some slight tweaks yet the reader is still satisfied with the ending.

I would recommend this to all those who love fairy tales and exquisite illustrat
Young Reader Reaction: The illustrations captivated my daughter. She enjoyed reading the story through the pictures (as opposed to reading the text).

Adult Reader Reaction: No detail is left undone in this beautifully created fairy tale. Although the story was somewhat familiar, the story was fresh and I enjoyed the historical accuracy of the princesses' costumes.

Pros: Beautiful images illuminate and freshen a classic fairy tale.

To read our full review, go to The Reading Tub®.
Mary Catelli
a beautifully illustrated retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses, with gorgeous levels of detail. Some are less impressive than others, but none are perfunctory.

The blurb claims it's retelling the Brothers Grimm. It's not. It's retelling the version that Andrew Lang included in The Red Fairy Book; although a few details are closer to Grimms' than to that one, most favor the French one.
Jenny Baird
May 15, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
So there are a million different versions of the Twelve Dancing Princesses, but this one is my favorite...Maybe it was because of the illustrations. I always say that appearence is half of any book, and that includes the pictures. Anyway, this book is one of the better retellings (Even if the guy who finds them out is not much of a looker, I mean come on? You could at least make the soldier CUTE!!)
Brittany Balunas
The illustrations in this book are beautiful! I would use this book in order to have students work on multiplying with the factor 12. I would probably use this book as a review and read the book and have the students solve problems such as: How many shoes all twelve of the princesses would need for an entire week? and How many spools of thread would be needed to make the shoes? This would be a fun way to asses children's understanding and fluency with multiplication facts.
Aug 13, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Girls, Fairytale fans
I used to get this book from the library just about every time I went when I was a little girl, A few years ago I remembered it and how gorgeous the Illustrations were. I bought quite a few other versions of the tale before I finally found this one again. It was like bringing home an old friend. The Illustration of the princesses sneaking through the golden wood is particularly enchanting.
Jun 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
As always, Ruth Sanderson's illustrations are exquisite. The only thing that bugged me/struck me as odd was Michael's mullet. Just couldn't get past that. The story is basically the same as most versions of the twelve dancing princesses, though there is a slight difference. Definitely worth a read!
Kayla Skeans
Jan 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: january
while reading this book, I was drawn into the art work for the pictures also the over all story was unique. I loved how in the end the gardener chose the youngest princess. When in other ones similar have the solider chose the oldest princess. So in other words I really loved how this book started and ended.
Ashley P.
Jul 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: marvelous-math
This book can be used to talk about multiplications fo 12. There are 12 princesses who continually wear out their shoes. How many shoes would they need for a whole week? If it takes 4 spools of gold thread to make 1 pair of shoes, how may spools would be needed for 12 pairs. The pictures are beautiful, also, I loved this book when I was little.
Sapphire Moosman
Jan 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Ruth Sanderson's gorgeous images never cease to amaze me with their detail and beauty. However, she does not simply settle on illustrating a story well. This is one of the best versions of The Twelve Dancing Princesses that I have ever read, with real depth behind it and the chance of actual romance rather than the young man in the story simply winning one of the princesses.
Jan 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely beautiful artwork in this version, and great amounts of detail went into not only the pictures but also into the story. There was a complexity to the characters that normally isn't found which suggests it is for a slightly older childrens group but it's still a great read I'd recommend to everyone.
Better than many versions, but now that I've read the adaptation by Brigette Barrager, I don't think I can be happy with one that pits the princesses against the king. The illustrations were nice except for the garden boy... Oh, that mullet. Yikes.
Jan 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book had such lovely illustrations. I loved the depiction of the forests of silver, gold, and diamonds. All the daughters wore very rich and intricate clothes. I liked how the love story was developed between Lina and Micheal from the begin to the end. They actually care for one another, not just because Micheal knew their secret.
Mary-Katherine Doss
Dec 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
It was the most beautifully illustrated book I'd ever seen. It became a pillar of my childhood and my favorite fairy tale. Now every time I try to find a way to explain the vividness of my dreams and imagination,these pages are what come to mind. I feel awful for any child that didn't grow up surrounded by books, and worst for children who've never had this one.
Emilee Wirth
Sep 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is a favorite, there is so much emotion in each of the detailed pictures. Its a twist on the normal fairytale ending, its normally the prince. The person whom all the princesses don't see the youngest princess does. It is an aspiring story to all the children out there.
Kathryn Eder
Nov 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book is a beautiful story about twelve sisters who are princesses and have a secret. The illustrations are so gorgeous and go so well with the text. It is a great book for children to get familiar with the fairytale story.
Paige Smith
This book opens up a little girl's dream world of being a princess and being involved in a mystery. Ultimately a spell needs to be broken in order for one princess to find love. The pictures perfectly illustrate the enchanting story.
Jan 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 03-classic-fairy
I haven't ever read or seen this classic fairy tale and I loved this one! The pictures by Sanderson are stunning. The detail is so beautiful and meaningful. I also think the story was very well written and easy to follow at young ages as well as old. Glad I came across this version! :)
Mar 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I've been searching for this version for years now and finally found this book, the one I used to read as a little girl, at my local library. The pictures are beautiful and it's my favorite rendition of this classic story.
Sep 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Straightforward retelling of the fairy tale classic with lavish illustrations by Sanderson. In this version, Michael, a young gardener, is given a magic cloak and with the help of the youngest princess, Lina, is able to solve the dancing mystery.
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