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The Twelve Dancing Princesses (Mulberry books) Paperback – October 19, 1998


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The Twelve Dancing Princesses (Mulberry books) + Rapunzel (Picture Puffin Books) + Rumpelstiltskin
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Series: Mulberry books
  • Paperback: 40 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; Reprint edition (October 19, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 068814392X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688143923
  • Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 9.8 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #456,644 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

"Richly hued illustrations create a magical setting for Mayer's polished version of this romantic fairy tale," said PW. Ages 5-up.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Grade 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.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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Our daughter is 7 years old and she loves this book.
Katherine Yzaguirre
All mothers should read this to their children before bed so they'll have fond memories and sweet dreams.
J. Sanders
The story is beautifully told and the illustrations are exquisite!
Emily Long

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 38 people found the following review helpful By M. Lilliquist on July 18, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As usual, any book illustrated by K.Y. Craft is wonderful to look at, and will surely enchant anyone with a "penchant for princesses." Almost worth the price of admission by itself.
The story has a lot to recommend it also. The classic plot has been nicely modified to give some depth of character and intelligence to the clever young suitor and to the object of his interest, the youngest of the twelve bewitched princesses. (For those unfamiliar with the story, the king's daughter have been put under a spell which send them to a secret realm every night where they dance the night away; the young hero discovers the secret and breaks the spell.)
My 4-year-old daughter enjoys the story very much, but there are elements to the story that she is probably not catching on to, and which older kids will enjoy. A good read-aloud for young kids, and a nice stretch for early readers, I should think. (Not beginning readers, though. The vocabulary is rich rather than constrained.)
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By J. Sanders on April 9, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I remember reading this book in my elementary school library it was by far my favorite. Even when I went on to graduate I never forgot it. Now I'm married and have a child of my own, when I fould out I was pregnant I went looking for this book and bought it off of Amazon.com. It was just as i had remembered. It is still the most beautiful book i have ever read the illistrations are gorgeous and so detailed. And the story is a perfect fairy tale. All mothers should read this to their children before bed so they'll have fond memories and sweet dreams.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Erin VINE VOICE on January 19, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Richly written and illustrated, this book doesn't disappoint. So many fairy tale books go only half-way--either they have great pictures or a well-written story. This is not one of those. Marianna Mayer tells the story with lovely detail and a highly enjoyable style. And the artwork--well, look at the cover! The artwork is amazing! The portrait of Princess Elise almost jumps off the page (or invites you into it, whichever you prefer). And don't overlook the sidebar illustrations on each text page--they add a deeper dimension to the story by giving the reader a glimpse of the magical setting. This book is truly enchanting.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 3, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book is a wonderful fairly tale about twelve princesses. Every night the twelve princesses wear down their new dancing shoes. However, the King does not understand how because he locks the door to their room every night so there is not way that they can get out, but every morning their dancing shoes are torn. Many men have tried to discover the secret however none succeeded. Until one young man discovers their secret, using magic. It is like many other fairy tales in which the characters live happily ever after, however I like this book because of the magical way that they young man finds out the princesses secret. Also the illustrations are great, and the author does a great job at showing the mystical world of fantasy.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 7, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I'm a librarian. This is the first baby gift I buy for any baby girl.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 28, 1999
Format: Hardcover
The Twelve Dancing Princesses is a wonderful, magical story in it's own right. Marianna Mayer has woven this tale with sumptuos words that make this book delightful to read out loud. The drawings are so lovely, detailed, and beautifully drawn that both my daughter and I have spent hours looking at the pictures! This is an important book for its beauty and its ability to activate your imagination.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By "annakatrina" on November 20, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Reading this Twelve Dancing Princesses was a magical experience for me when I was little! I remember being so impressed by this book that I painstakingly copied most of the gorgeous illustrations. K.Y. Craft is a truly inspired and masterful illustrator, and the pictures in this book are so glowing and intricate they'll fascinate most little girls (I'm not sure about boys;the one 4 year old boy I tried to read this to was just not interested), and most adults. The story is your usual fairy tale, a nice interpretation of the Twelve Dancing Princesses tale.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Toni Case on August 15, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a beautifully illustrated retelling of the fairy tale. It also maintains integrity to the older versions.
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