Written and Illustrated By Brigette Barrager
Chronicle Books, 2011
Medium: Photoshop

Twelve Dancing Princesses

The editor and I thought that a retelling of a classic fairytale would be a fitting first picture book for me, and so Twelve Dancing Princesses was my author/illustrator debut! I have read many versions of this story, and I adjusted it according to my own taste, making the royal shoe maker into the hero. In most versions, it’s a stranger who rescues the princesses – a soldier, or a knight, but I wanted a hero who was already invested in the princesses’ well-being, a craftsman with some humility. I have always had a soft spot for botanical names, so I named each princess after a flower. 

Some foreshadowing: there is a Princess Rose in this book, and a decade later, I named one of my twins Rose! I recall working on this with a great deal of fondness, and despite the fact that it wasn’t a ‘success’ in the traditional sense, it was truly a joyful process to create my own world inside a book, from scratch, for the first time.The accompanying matching game was much more successful, actually! It’s still in print.

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