D is for Dancing Princesses

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Henry J. Ford is best known for his illustrations of Andrew Lang’s color Fairy Tale books.

Another misleading fairy tale title! It’s not about princesses; it’s about the king, a father of teens. The tale begins and ends with him; it is he who transforms from being outraged by disobedience to accepting that–hey!–teenagers sneak out of the house. Throw a fit, but get over it. You did it yourself as a prince! And the old soldier? Couldn’t he be more appealing? Should he pick the youngest? the eldest? In the end, it doesn’t matter. The princesses sneak out, the soldier spies, but the king?–he is transformed, and that’s what fairy tales are about.

Do you have this tale in your library? If not, try these:

Grimm, Brothers, The Twelve Dancing Princesses, illustrated by Dorothee Duntze. NorthSouth, 2013.

Lang, Andrew, The Red Fairy Book. Any edition.

Pullman, Philip, Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm. Viking Adult, 2012. (He uses the alternate title, “The Shoes That Were Danced to Pieces.”

 

Shall I see you at the Texas Library Association Conference in San Antonio next week? I’m in booth 2511.

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One response

  1. I love your take on this! 🙂 One of my favorite story types, I know it is many variations. There is actually an entire book that is just a collection of dancing princess tales. I don’t know why it fascinates me so much. Maybe because I was an exceptionally good teenager, so sneaking out sounds like magic to me 😀