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The Secret of the Tattered Shoes does not disappoint!

Buy The Secret of the Tattered Shoes

The entrancing images are a perfect match for this dark sensual tale

We love this wonderful review of The Secret of the Tattered Shoes from brilliant blog Books for Topics! Read it below!


Jackie Morris is best known to primary educators for 2016’s ‘The Lost Words’ and for anyone familiar with that book’s lyrical beauty, The Secret of the Tattered Shoes does not disappoint.

Reinterpreting the classic fairy tale The Twelve Dancing Princesses, The Secret of the Tattered Shoes follows a world-weary soldier as he attempts to unravel the mystery of why the twelve princesses’ dancing shoes are worn out every morning despite the women being locked in a room all night. If he fails, he will be put to death, but if he succeeds, he may choose one of the princesses as his bride. The traumatised soldier has already told us that death is what he seeks, but despite the capricious nature of the princesses – engrossed in the hedonism of dancing with their own true loves, they care nothing for the many lives lost – the beauty of the underground world succeeds in beginning to bring the soldier’s shrivelled heart back to life.

Through the dream-like evocation of a magical world where fear, melancholy and darkness are as prevalent as beauty, hope and love, the words of Jackie Morris combine seamlessly with the lush layers of Ehsan Abdollahi’s illustrations. Using a rich yet muted colour palette, the entrancing images of billowing costumes, hooded eyes and glorious nature, are a perfect match for this dark sensual tale.

Part of the Tiny Owl series ‘One Story, Many Voices’, in which various authors reinterpret traditional tales, The Secret of the Tattered Shoes would make a beautiful hardback addition to any KS2 classroom bookshelf, and the depth of the text, images and themes would reward study with any KS2 year groups.

  • Read an interview with author Jackie Morris
  • Watch the trailer for The Secret of the Tattered Shoes
  • Mathew Tobin gives The Secret of the Tattered Shoes a five star review!
  • The Sunday Times picks The Secret of the Tattered Shoes as Book of the Week!

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