Twelve Dancing Unicorns, by Alissa Heyman, illustrated by Justin Gerard; Sterling Children’s Books, $14.95, 32 pages, ages 5-8. (September 2014)

Since its initial publication in 1812, The Grimm brothers’ classic fairy tale, The Twelve Dancing Princesses, has inspired movies, musicals, as well as adaptations and numerous retellings. In Alissa Heyman’s debut picture book the dozen princesses are now glittering unicorns who manage to break free of their golden chains every night.  The king offers a reward to the person capable of solving his pets’ mysterious nocturnal ramblings, and a plucky young villager takes up the challenge.  Young readers familiar with the original will quickly pick up on the similarities, while children new to the tale will enjoy it just the same. Veteran illustrator (DreamWorks, Disney) Justin Gerard’s paintings set an enchanted mood – fairies and flowers appear illuminated from within, while the unicorns gallop right out of this glowing fantasy world.  Tones of purple, blue and radiant gold are a perfect accompaniment to this magical tale. 

Follow the Twelve Dancing Unicorns blog tour tomorrow on My Friend Amy: