Menu Close

This retelling retains all its magic and appeal!

Buy The Secret of the Tattered Shoes


Each word is perfectly chosen, each sentence beautifully weighted

The English Association have shared this fantastic review of The Secret of the Tattered Shoes. Find out what Sue Barrett has to say below:

Retellings of traditional tales are becoming increasingly popular. Here Grimm’s Twelve Dancing Princesses has been given a new title, (perhaps not to give the game away), and a modified ending. The tale itself, in the hands of the acclaimed author Jackie Morris, retains all of its magic and appeal. The text is spare, with no overblown description, just each word perfectly chosen and sentences beautifully weighted. As in the original, we see a soldier, weary from war, take up the king’s challenge to solve the riddle of the tattered shoes each morning belonging to princesses locked in a room all night. So, cleverly not drinking the drugged wine, he follows the princesses over three nights, hidden in his cloak of invisibility, as they pass through enchanted forests and across a lake to the ballroom and their princely partners. By dint of taking some samples of silver, gold and diamond leaves and a small goblet along the way, he is able to unmask their secret to their father the king and so win the hand of the princess of his choice. It turns out, however, that the soldier has a very different idea….

Disappointed at first to see Morris had not illustrated this tale herself in her hallmark wistfully beautiful style, I soon became won over by the rich artwork with its meld of collage effects and characters drawn almost as if they are puppets. Pupils from Y2-4 could explore their own retellings and modified endings using shadow puppets, masks or animation, so the illustrations are an inspiration!

Sue Barrett

  • The Sunday Times picks The Secret of the Tattered Shoes as Book of the Week!
  • James Mayhew features The Secret of the Tattered Shoes as Book Illustration of the Day!
  • Read an interview with author Jackie Morris
  • Watch the trailer for The Secret of the Tattered Shoes

Visit our bookstore

Download book posters

Limited edition prints

Subscribe to Tiny Owl on YouTube!

Posted in News & Reviews