Probably most people come to Mine-Haha having watched the engrossing film, Innocence. And this is how it should be, for the 60 pages of Wedekind's novel are as confusingly vague as its claim to 'psycho-sexual expressionism' is revealing, and has presumably only been translated from German as a consequence of the success of Hadzihalilovic's film. Really, you need to watch the film (Innocence) to help visualise the concept behind the book.
While the book briefly brings to our attention the unusual circumstances the little girls are placed in, a larger proportion of the book seems to focus on the fairy tales that are being enacted on stage. Wedekind seems happy to make us assimilate the numerous names of the children, and writes in detail about the fairy tale dance, but leaves us hazy about the bulk of everyday life at the orphanage. The film (Innocence) provides a much better portrayal of the daily routines of life at the institution, and of the intimacy between the girls.
While there are many film adaptations that makes one admit the book is far better than the film, this is not one of those occasions.