cover image The Twelve Dancing Princesses

The Twelve Dancing Princesses

. Morrow Junior Books, $17.99 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-688-08051-8

Craft's richly hued illustrations create a magical setting for Mayer's polished version of this romantic fairy tale. The story centers on the mysterious enchantment to which the King's 12 daughters have fallen prey: although locked in their bedchamber at night, each morning they emerge pale and tired, with their satin dancing slippers worn through. It is Peter, a humble gardener, who succeeds where dozens of princes have failed, eventually breaking the spell that has bound them. With skillful use of lighting, texture and detail and a fine sense of mood, Craft captures both the regal opulence of the King's court and the shimmery, ethereal beauty of the subterranean world of the all-night dancing, resulting in a lavish feast for the eyes and the imagination. All ages. (Mar.)