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on October 21, 2005
First off, this book is so tiny you can hardly appreciate the artwork. It has a 'pocket story' feel, not the type of book you plan to pass down. The story is classic, most of us know it. It is well-enough written, but of course has a few changes to the original. But what makes this genre of books special is the artwork.

I highly suggest the Mercer version of Beauty and the Beast. It too has some changes to the story, but the writting comes across more magically, not just relaying a story. And the watercolor artwork is very interesting to look at, and the book is an appropriate size to help showcase the artwork. I really love the Mercer book, but figured I'd check this one out too.

Another problem with this little book aside from the tiny pictures is that although Beauty as a redhead is lovely, the beast is a handsome lion. He doesn't look ugly at all, just looks like a lion. But the nature of the story is that she falls in love with the beast that she at first found ugly. It is harder to fall in love with a beast that is not only a beast, but is an ugly beast. The Mercer version shows an uglier and scarier looking beast, which adds to the story. Also, in this little book, I was very surprised to see the prince that the beast turns into at the end, looking straight from 1986 with his mullet and mustache-- yuck! Beauty's own father is ten times better looking! The beast is supposed to turn into a very handsome price, but in this case I'd practically prefer the lion over this guy!

Check out the magical Mercer version-- you won't regret that one.
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on April 22, 2004
Beauty and the Beast written by Samantha Easton is a true delight. This book is perfect for people of all ages. I believe anyone who reads this book will truly fall in love with it. The illustrations are amazing. Ruth Sanderson is a complete genius. He makes you feel like you are in the story. The content of the story is appropriate for people of all ages. So parents do not be affraid to share it with your small children. This book reminds me of my childhood and waiting for some amazing adventure to happen. You can live your childhood fantasy through this book. I recommend that everyone should read this book and keep passing it down to each generation.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon August 10, 2009
Ruth Sanderson is one of my favourite illustrators of all times. Her characters are luminous, her details are exquisite, and the artwork in general has an indescribable clarity and magical quality that is perfectly matched to the fairytales she so often illustrates. Such is certainly the case in this particular version of "Beauty and the Beast."

Beauty, with her red hair and angelic face, looks like an angel in a Renaissance painting; whereas the Beast (as with most portrayals of this character) is lion-esque in nature. In fact, he *is* a lion, albeit one wearing clothing. Perhaps not the most imaginative rendering of the formidable Beast, but the image fits in well with the regal colours used throughout the paintings. There is richness to the colour-choices, and the illustrations contain a warm ambiance that favours autumnal hues: warm browns, rich reds, gold linings.

The problem with the book is that it is simply too small to fully appreciate the pictures on display. It's only about a hand span in height, which is convenient for little hands - but I think kids would benefit more from giving these beautiful images the space they deserve. The whole point of picture books is a marriage of text and art in order to create a rewarding reading experience, and here the result isn't aesthetically pleasing. The text itself is printed in a font that is much too large in proportion to the delicate illustrations, leading to a couple of double-pages of unwieldy print without a picture to break up the text.

The narrative itself is a fairly simple retelling of the fairytale. Samantha Easton doesn't really add any unique variations on the tale, or even display a flair for the storytelling itself. In straightforward, rather blunt prose, the story tells of a merchant and his family falling into poverty and his journey to try and revive his fortunes. On the way back from his trip, the merchant becomes lost and finds a beautiful white marble palace in which fruit and flowers grow out of season. Taking a rose from the gardens, he is threatened by the terrible beast who demands one of his daughters in repayment for his perceived thievery.

Beauty agrees to take her father's place in the Beast's household, but on arriving at the palace is surprised to find that the Beast isn't so terrible as she first imagined. Her only unhappiness is her longing for her family, and eventually the Beast gives her permission to return home - but only if she promises to return in a month's time. If not, he's sure that he would die of loneliness without her...

I own this book because I am a fan of Ruth Sanderson's artwork; but I wouldn't recommend this version of "Beauty and the Beast" for someone looking for the quintessential retelling of the story. Instead, try Marianna Mayer's Beauty and the Beast or Geraldine McCaughrean's The Beauty and the Beast, or my absolute favourite, Angela Barrett's Beauty and the Beast, all of which are big, beautiful books with lovely illustrations whose beauty are shown off to the fullest, and written in graceful, poetic prose that bring to life this beloved fairytale.
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on January 4, 2007
This book has absolutely BEAUTIFUL pictures and is nicely written. The only negative things I can say about it is that it is very small and that the beast is much cuter than the actual prince. But I suppose that's a matter of personal taste. =o)
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on September 5, 2014
The copy I received was maybe 4x6inches. I had no idea it was going to be TINY.
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on September 25, 2011
Another beautifully retold classic with incredible illustrations. A must-have for readers of all ages.
Can't go wrong with a classic story and beautiful pictures!
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on November 14, 2014
This is a cute little size book. Just the right size for my 8 year old granddaughter. Even though it's small, the illustrations are lovely. Great story.
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on August 21, 2015
It doesn't make any difference if the illustrations are beautiful or not, the book is super small that you can barely see them
Very disappointed!!!
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