Beauty and the Beast (Mayer)

Publisher: 
SeaStar Books
Illustrator: 
Mercer Mayer
ISBN: 
1587170175
Publication Date: 
1978, 2000
List Price: 
$15.95
Format: 
hardcover
Short Review: 
The classic French fairy tale of a selfless and devoted daughter who offers to go in her father’s place to live in the palace of a beast is retold in beautiful, flowing language and illustrated with lushly romantic and glowing watercolors.
Long Review: 

This is the classic French fairy tale of a selfless and devoted daughter who offers to go in her father’s place to live in the palace of a beast. Through the beast’s gentle kindness and Beauty’s generosity of spirit, Beauty comes to love the beast, despite his frightening outward appearance, finally releasing him from an enchantment that kept a handsome prince trapped in a beast’s body. And as with most fairy tales, this romantic tale ends with a wedding, inner beauty having been rewarded with true love. This longish picture book version is true to the French original (and therefore does not resemble the Disney version). Written by Madame Villeneuve during the reign of Louis XIV, this tale is most often attributed to Madame de Beaumont, whose version most often appears in collections of fairy tales for children. Beautifully retold in rich and flowing language and illustrated with lushly romantic paintings in deep, glowing watercolors (which couldn’t be more different than the artists’ illustrations for his own There’s a Nightmare in My Closet!), this fairy tale makes a wonderful read aloud. Older readers who want to spend even more time with the characters will love Robin McKinley’s novel-length version of the tale, Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty & the Beast. And for a comic twist on the “ugliness redeemed by true love” theme, try the hilarious animated film Shrek.

Reviewer: 
Lauren Mayer
Rating: 
5
Large image: 
Authors: 
Marianna Mayer, reteller