I like this book, and Ms. Isadora's other fairy tale books, in principle. I am beyond the moon at the idea of having these fairy tales set in Africa, with non-white characters. The illustrations are great, and the concept is wonderful. (Believe me, we've had too too many conversations with the older niece about how no, she doesn't need long straight blond hair to be a princess, and her hair is beautiful just the way it is.)
However, I have the same problem with this book that I did with her version of The Princess and the Pea, and that's the text. This version is so incredibly bare bones that it feels like half the story is missing. The soldier who wins does so by getting advice from an old woman - but why does she tell him how to save the day? Does he help her? Does she like him? Is he just nice? Who knows? The story doesn't give her any reason to help him at all.
Most fairy tales I read are written with some pretense that the people have motivations and feelings and thoughts. This one is just... character archetypes and standard plot. There's nothing wrong with that, but I really wish that this version of The Twelve Dancing Princesses was more fleshed out, with the text to match the artwork.