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Beauty and the Beast Hardcover – December 8, 2011

4.9 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

This beloved old French fairy tale has enjoyed renewed popularity in recent years. Beauty, as you may recall, is the youngest daughter of a devoted father who has fallen on hard times. Returning from a journey, he picks a rose for his daughter, enraging the owner of the rosebush, the fearsome boarlike Beast who inhabits a nearby castle. As payment for the rose, Beauty must leave her family and reside in the Beast's castle as his companion. She gradually comes to appreciate the Beast's kind nature, and, after leaving him to visit her family, realizes that she has fallen in love! Beauty willingly returns to her Beast, in time to break the spell that has caused his current, beastly countenance and restore him (and the servants in the castle) to their human forms.

Jan Brett--well-known for her artistry in Goldilocks and the Three Bears and The Mitten--has worked her usual magic on this beautiful edition of Beauty and the Beast. In a unique visual spin on the story, the tapestries hung on the walls of the Beast's castle reveal the true identities of the animal servants who are under the same spell as the Beast--a subtle, fascinating feature that may not be noticed until the second or third reading. The story's old-fashioned and graceful language perfectly accompanies the French court setting. One of the finest takes on this classic tale, Brett's Beauty and the Beast is described by Kirkus Reviews as "a lovely, carefully made edition of an old favorite." (Ages 5 to 8) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

A single peacock feather, its delicate beauty rendered in meticulous detail, sets the tone for this sumptuous retelling of a classic fairy tale. The story is a familiar one, with true love triumphing over a wicked enchantment in the end (the moral, of course, is "never judge a book by its cover"). But the central attraction is the illustrations. Brett's images glide by in a kaleidoscope of luminous color: iridescent blues and greens flow from page to page, entwined with the radiant shades of Beauty's own symbol, the rose. Brett, whose trademark is her careful detail, leaves hidden clues for sharp-eyed readers that hint at the Beast's secret--such as mottoed tapestries and glimpses of the meddlesome fairy herself, decked out naturally enough as a peacock butterfly. But it's the recurring motif of the peacock, itself a symbol of vanity and surface appearances, that ties the threads of the story together. It's a brilliant marriage of artwork and text; once again Brett proves herself a contemporary illustrator of consummate skill. Ages 6-12.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 3
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers (December 8, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399257314
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399257315
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 0.4 x 11.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #466,223 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
The lush illustrations that accompany this classic tale are a feast for the eyes. Each page is full of rich detail and elegance. This book lacks the frames and sidebars that have come to characterize Jan Brett's recent work, but the tapestries that line the Beast's magical castle use the same foreshadowing effect. The predominantly pastel color scheme and the ornate period costumes combine to create just the right subtle elegance for this tale.

The condensed storyline remains true to the original tale. It's the gentle sacrificial Beauty we all know, and an appropriately frightening boar-like Beast. My favorite addition was the whimsical animal servants -- each courteous and elegantly dressed. This book has the deferential charm of an old fashioned fairy tale and the ever-relevant moral of looking past outer appearances.
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Format: Hardcover
Jan Brett's illustrations are so colorful and richly drawn that you could tell the story without the words if you wanted to. Her illustrations are magical.
This book is a wonderful telling of the fairy tale. The true meaning of the tale comes shining through. The illustrations bring life to the printed words.
You will love this book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Jan Brett's books are always richly and beautifully illustrated. There is always a little extra "story" in the illustrations. In this one, you will be watching the animal servants throughout the book. Pay close attention to the tapestries in the background to see who these animals really are. My favorite are the monkeys. This version is very much like the original French fairy fale, and is well told.
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Format: Hardcover
This version of Beauty and the Beast is well written, beautifully illustrated, and makes the moral point of the story quite clear. It is the nicest I've ever seen. Forget the movie and get this book instead.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Beauty and the Beast is one of my favorite fairy tales and this particular book is a nice alternative to the Disney version. I also appreciate that the beast isn't especially "scary" and looks more like an animal rather than a mutant. It's a children book that I actually enjoy reading with my girls. And although there is a lot of text on each page, both my 2 YO and my 4 YO are able to maintain interest--mainly because of the beautiful illustrations.
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By Book Worm on September 11, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I got this book years ago when I worked for the publisher. I've given this book as a gift many times. The illustrations are just breathtaking and whimsical. You will find yourself stopping and searching the pictures in the middle of the story. The story is very nicely done and my kids enjoy it much more than the Dineyized version storybook they have.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The illustrations in this book are just beautiful and there is one on every page. Costuming is historically correct and they are beautifully rendered. The text is quite simplistic though and definitely for the younger child 5 to 8. Read it in 15 minutes of less.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is gorgeous and has some interesting twists for those who are most familiar with the Disney version. My four-year-old daughter loves it and we are big fans of Jan Brett's beautifully illustrated children's stories, anyway.
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