Feminist reimaginings of fairytales have been a key 2018 trend and none so captivating as The Miniaturist author's children's debut. Burton takes The Brothers Grimm's Twelve Dancing Princesses and swings the camera to tell the tale from the perspective of the girls, dispensing with the princes entirely. In a seductive world of jazz music and sparkling lights, it's a story of family, sisterhood, freedom and imagination told in a playful, perceptive tone. Barrett's sophisticated, elegant full-colour illustrations are a knockout.
"One Booker shortlist later, Galley Beggar were proved correct. Ellmann’s novel isn’t perfect, and it may not take the prize, but in a world where Ian McEwan is still at large, something introspective and richly painted is a tonic for us all...."
— The Daily Telegraph
4.25 out of 5
Burton’s first book for children is a wonderful, magic-realist feminist fantasy, perfectly balanced with the soft magic of Angela Barrett’s illustration. It’s particularly delightful to see 12 black princesses depicted, representing girls that are dynamic, well differentiated and invested in the action of the story.
It is fierce, bold and completely enchanting, and I just adored this feminist and diverse retelling of the classic story. A true celebration of sisterhood, bravery and the power of imagination. Angela Barrett’s sumptuous, rich artwork complements Burton’s glorious storytelling beautifully. The Restless Girls would be a really engaging and thought-provoking book to share in upper key stage 2.
Told in a tripping, light-footed style, the adventures of the 12 sisters of mixed heritage are illustrated with gleaming loveliness. This gilded volume is a gorgeous object.