When I first found out that Jessie Burton was writing her first children’s book on a feminist reimagining of the Grimms’ fairytale The Twelve Dancing Princesses, and that the incredible Angela Barrett would be the illustrator I just couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy. And I haven’t let it out of my hands since. It is without a doubt one of the magical, exquisite books I’ve read in 2018.
The Restless Girls is a most welcome edition to the wonderful world of modern fairytale retellings indeed and it’s one that every young girl and boy should read. Not only does it have elements of empowering women who can save and look after themselves (no shadow of a damsel in distress appeared here) but it also encourages you to not allow others to damped your dreams and passions. It was refreshing to see that the 12 beautiful princesses, were what I believed to be inspired and named after unique inspirational women (the main character Frida being named after Frida Kahlo, Jessie Burton please say I'm right?!)
Overall, this is a magical tale of bravery, sisterhood and fighting for your rights. My only wish being, that whilst I adored Angela Barrett’s illustrations, I just wish that there could’ve been more. With only 17 illustrations in total I can’t help but pine over the missed artistic representation that could’ve been. But nevertheless, this gloriously gorgeous hardback edition is one that I’ll be sure to read over and over again.
© 2018 Bluebird Reviews