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Condition: Used: Acceptable
Comment: A - Clean Ex-Library copy (labels, etc.) Good condition except for 2 tape-repaired page rips. Clean, crisp, bright pages. No marks found inside. Light shelf / usage wear.
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Little Beauty Hardcover – September 23, 2008

4 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. PreSchool-Grade 3—This reworking of the classic tale of a beast transformed by unconditional love depicts the protagonist as a lumbering gorilla and Beauty as a petite cat. A red rose on the title page hints at what's to come. But wait! Alert readers will recognize this relationship, these very poses: here are Hanabi-Ko and All Ball from the real-life story of the sensitive, signing gorilla described by Francine Patterson in Koko's Kitten (Scholastic, 1985). Browne melds fact and fiction into a story that reads simply, but offers layers. Luscious, creamy pages provide contrast for the large, well-spaced font and the dark, furry figure that often bleeds off the page. Watercolor and pencil renderings capture the animal in moments of profound loneliness and extreme anger; he reacts to King Kong by smashing the TV in a page red with rage. Zookeepers fear for Beauty's safety, but her surprising intervention saves the day. Children will chuckle as they view the pair doing everything together, from using the bathroom to swinging from the lamp, like the mythical figure flying too close to the sun. (Bruegel's Fall of Icarus hangs in the background.) Browne's exquisite interpretation of a real-life gorilla is a welcome progression.—Wendy Lukehart, Washington DC Public Library
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From Booklist

*Starred Review* As in Willy and Hugh (1991) and many other animal fantasies, Browne once again tells a picture-book story with exquisitely detailed art that blends magic and realism. Full-page pictures in pencil and watercolor show a gorilla seated in a floral armchair watching TV with his mug of tea and a hamburger. The ape’s human keepers have taught him sign language, and when he signs that he is lonely, they give him a small white kitten. He names her Beauty, and the two bond in bliss. He holds her in the palm of his hand and feeds her milk and honey. The cover shows Beauty perched on the gorilla’s head, and one delightful spread shows him on the toilet, her using the litter box (“They did everything together.”). Then, in a fury after seeing a King Kong movie on TV, the gorilla smashes the set. The keepers come to take Beauty away after the outburst, but when Beauty signs that she broke the TV, everyone laughs at her improbable claim, the mood lightens, and the friends live happily ever after. With the beautiful close-up views of each hair on the gorilla’s furry body, his gentle eyes and soft hands, and then the sudden uncontrollable anger that all kids fear—in themselves and others—this is the stuff of “Beauty and the Beast,” as terrifying as it is tender. Preschool-Grade 3. --Hazel Rochman
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 2
  • Lexile Measure: 430 (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick (September 23, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0763639591
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763639594
  • Product Dimensions: 10.7 x 0.5 x 12.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #923,042 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book is beautifully illustrated. It has a wonderful, engaging beginning and then takes a sudden turn and spirals downward. It almost seems as if it were written by two different people. In short, there's an adorable gorilla who is given a sweet kitten as a friend. They are best buddies-- they do everything together, even sit side-by-side in their respective potties together! Until suddenly, this gorilla becomes furious (turns red and scary) while watching a scene from King Kong and smashes the television. His keepers respond by threatening to take his kitten away. The kitten tells the keepers that he was the one who smashed the tv, not the gorilla. The kitten covers for his buddy by lying, and therefore gets to stay with the gorilla, The End. One word describes this books derailment: bizarre. It has few words and is clearly geared toward a younger audience. While I don't believe all books for children have to have a moral, they should at least be entertaining and fun. This story sends the wrong signals and ends abruptly and awkwardly.
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Format: Paperback
A gorilla who signs seems to have everything, everything but a friend. The zookeepers give him a friend, a cat named Beauty. The gorilla loves Beauty and he takes care of her. The gorilla and beauty are happy. They do everything together, until one day the gorilla gets angry and breaks the television. When the zookeepers threaten to take Beauty away, the small cat stands up and saves the day. The gorilla and Beauty live on together happily.
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Format: Hardcover
My 5-year-old and 4-year-old love this book -- it's laugh out loud funny every time we read it (I won't give it away here, but bathroom humor is always good for a laugh). The pictures are beautiful. I would highly recommend this book -- I'm thinking of reading it to my son's Kindergarten class when I'm the visiting reader.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book has touched the hearts of so many people I know, kids and adults alike. I really don't understand the bad reviews about it. It talks about having a friend that understands you and you can always count on. :)
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Format: Paperback
My kids age 1 & 3 both love this book. The pictures are large and the emotion is easy to read. They both think the potty pages is super silly and hilarious and laugh about it. They both reenact the sign language page. Some have commented about the morals of the ending, but I really like the ending. Rather than getting caught up in the lie, doesn't it say something about real life friendships. It's not always clear cut. The little kitty loved gorilla so much she tried to cover for him and take the blame for the gorilla's action. Isn't that the stuff of true friendship.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Little Beauty by Anthony Browne is a small, charming tale of friendship and understanding, beautifully illustrated. Small children will love it, particularly if you read it to them. Adults will enjoy its whimsy and wonderful illustrations. Cat lovers will be in heaven. Be sure to study every page--there are surprises in the illustrations everywhere! And if you are a fan of the surrealist artist, Rene Magritte, you may see some influence in the illustrations.
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Format: Paperback
My 5 year old loves this book. I enjoy reading it to her. I have both books about Koko the signing gorilla. I read them to my daughter, they were both a little too wordy. They will definetly be a hit when she is a little older. For now Little Beauty is a wonderful lesson in love and friendship. The illustrations are great and we always turn the last page with a smile!
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Format: Hardcover
I read this book to my 5 yr old little girl. We were surprised at how short the story was, and so I tried to explain the lesson of the book to her. I thought at first it was a cute little story about friendship until I realized that there was absolutely no way in hell that I was going to teach my little girl to make excuses to cover for a friend's strongly violent act. I might have looked at the story a little differently if the characters were on more of an even playing field. Since there are too many out-of-control wackos out in the world, I think it would be to my daughter's detriment if I taught her to look the other way or to take the blame when someone commits an unpredictable violent act simply to preserve a friendship. The author should have included a page after the gorilla bashed the TV that showed the kitty running into the closet to hide. Wouldn't that have been a more normal reaction? What would you do if one of your big burly friends bashed in your TV because he was angry? Is this book really telling you to stay in a relationship that could possibly turn abusive? I know I might be going over the top here, but I don't want to send my daughter any kind of message now that can be misconstrued later to mean that she should stay with any future boyfriend if he exhibits violent behavior. I might be in the minority here, but it's better to be safe than sorry. Let's not give any reason why a sequel needed to be written called "Has Anyone Seen Little Beauty?" or "Little Beauty Really Fell on a Doorknob". Seriously, what if Little Beauty truly believed it was her fault that the TV got bashed in? Now that I just thought of that perspective, I'm really not liking this book. With that kind of thinking, it's not to far to take the leap and say that "she asked for it".
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