The Secret of the Tattered Shoes
Publisher: Tiny Owl
A weary soldier meets a woman in the forest who brims with light and life. She tells the soldier that in a nearby castle there is a king who has 12 beautiful daughters.
Each night, the daughters are locked inside their bedroom, but in the morning, they wake so weary they can hardly stand, and their shoes are worn through. If the soldier can solve the mystery, he may choose a bride from among the princesses and rule the land.
Yet when the soldier finds out the princesses' secret, will he divulge it and take the power he has been offered, or seek something else instead?
Ehsan Abdollahi's transfixingly beautiful illustration is absolutely breathtaking when it runs alongside Jackie Morris' retelling of the fairytale The Twelve Dancing Princesses. For parents and carers worried about dark endings and rather gory consequences for women in traditional fairy tales, there's a happy ending for the soldier and the princesses in this version.