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Beauty and the Beast Hardcover – November 14, 2006

4.8 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. Grade 2-4–Nineteenth-century period details, lively dialogue that is well suited to reading aloud, and sly humor distinguish this retelling. The basic plot is familiar, yet slight changes in details and dialogue deftly customize the tone. The father is portrayed as a doting parent whose flattering introductions to his daughters are provided in staccato. Absolutely lovely, smashing girl, mad about clothes, and amusingly countered by the author's, Now you might consider that Gertrude in fact looked a little spoiled and not very grateful…. Even Beauty is a little vain; when she first touches the beast, she is amazed to see how pale and delicate her hand looked against its fur. Barrett's lovely watercolor illustrations vary in size and shape and the effective use of light and shadow communicates the shifting moods. The haunting landscapes and stark interiors contrast with sunlit, outdoor scenes presented in charming little vignettes. A poignant spread shows Beauty weeping over her Beast. There are many delightful versions of this complex story, and each has its own charm. Certainly, Marianna Mayer's Beauty and the Beast (S & S, 1987) set a high standard. Libraries that feature variants of folklore stories will want this vibrant edition.–Kirsten Cutler, Sonoma County Library, CA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Eilenberg's lush retelling of the great fairy tale, set in the nineteenth century, pulls out all the stops with a long, lyrical text and beautiful watercolor pictures that depict both the luxury and the anguish of the story. Barrett's illustrations express the contrasts of the story, from the family scenes of the terrible sisters to the view of the brave young hero who goes on a journey to save her miserable dad. Then there are the dark and stormy landscapes surrounding the palace. The sad, lonely monster is a huge demonic presence, "hateful and yet so full of heart, so easy to pain, so eager to please." The final embrace that saves the Beast is a triumphant climax in both words and art. Great for storytelling, especially for readers old enough to understand a little about the importance of love. Hazel Rochman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 - 9 years
  • Grade Level: 1 - 4
  • Lexile Measure: 1100L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick; First Edition first Printing edition (November 14, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0763631604
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763631604
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 0.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #374,992 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
THis book is nothing short of spectacular. I read it to my nine year old (who's well into reading her own novels by now) and we both were moved to tears -- not a regular occurence in this household. Max Eilenberg's retelling of the classic tale is dark and emotional and very moving, and Angela Barrett's illustrations are nothing short of breathtaking. Can't recommend this highly enough for 6-10s. So different from all the jazzy tongue in cheek 'aren't we cool' books out there. This is the real thing.
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Format: Hardcover
Thank you Angela Barrett, for reminding me why you are one of my favorite children's illustrators of all time. With delicate figures, moody scenery, exquisite detail, striking composition, and a muted though rich palette of colors, this may well be the quintessential picture book version of "Beauty and the Beast." Seriously, there aren't enough adjectives in the world to describe how good this lady is.

Max Eilenberg provides the narrative, basing it on the traditional French fairytale "Le Belle et le Bette" by Charles Perrault, concerning a merchant with three daughters who looses his fortune, takes a forbidden rose from a magical garden, and finds himself forced to give up his youngest daughter Beauty to the terrible Beast in repayment for his theft.

Beauty agrees to dwell in the Beast's magnificent castle, and even comes to enjoy his company despite his hideous visage, but is troubled by his marriage proposals every night: she does not love him, and her constant denials are a source of constant pain to the Beast. When she begs to return home to see her father, the Beast gives her permission to go - provided she keeps her promise to return within the week.

Of course, you already know how it ends, but Eilenburg manages to keep the story fresh and gives the story a few little personal touches. Beauty's family name is "Fortune" and her father Mr Fortune loves to show pictures of his daughters to anyone who cares to listen (and some who don't!) Beauty's sisters Hermione and Gertrude are nasty pieces of work in this particular version, begging Beauty to delay her departure in the hopes that she'll be eaten by the Beast on her return. Yikes!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Recently, acquaintances from England, Anthony and Sue Dunsany, decided to come on a tour this Spring to America with their son Edward now nineteen, their sixteen year-old daughter Lucia and their youngest, Lirazel, a pretty girl of eight who resembles her mother both in looks and character, with large grey pensive eyes, long auburn hair and a beautiful serene smile. On a sunny mild day in New York, plans were made to visit some of the major museums during their week in the city, and young Lirazel decided that she would like to keep me company at home until we all met up again for an early dinner on the town.

She has a great affinity for reading and was shortly inspecting my bookshelves while I was addressing some correspondence. Setting my pen aside for a moment, I asked her what would please her the most and she replied 'a classic fairy tale'. There are so many, and perhaps you have read them all, but Lizarel quietly asked if I had a copy of Beauty and the Beast. It's my all-time favorite, she explained, and I never get tired of it. You know I have always felt a bit sorry for the beast in the story and Beauty is not only brave, but she is kind to him in the end when she realizes that he loves her and would like her to stay with him so that he will never be unhappy, lonely or mean again. This made me smile because I remembered how I was always a little disappointed when the Beast turned into a prince and that good looks are not the most important things in the world.

So I pulled out a newer version of this great tale by the author Max Eilenberg, illustrated by the beautiful artwork of Angela Barrett.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The story is beautifully, classily told by Mr Eilenberg, even if he does use the occasional English idiom with which Americans may not be familiar (both he and the illustrator are English). The writing is pacy, emotive, and sincere in the best possible way. The language is not moon-june-spoon though it is certainly clear -- delivering on the publisher's promise that this is a tale for anybody (of the romantic bent). There is also a dry sense of humour, just enough, in the right places. Bravo, Mr Eilenberg!

As for the paintings: they are intelligent, and most are unspeakably gorgeous, and they illustrate the scenes and emotions with great imaginative flair and taste. The artist has a sensitive eye for beauty and pathos, which comes out in the delicate colouring, the scene-design, and the facial or body expressions of the characters. Angela Barrett is a rare and special artist. I shall be looking out for whatever she does that is still in print.

Why is <i>this</i> book not in print? It certainly lacks for nothing. Perhaps it is too good.
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