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The Sleeping Beauty Hardcover – October 30, 1977

4.8 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The story of the beautiful princess who sleeps for a hundred years has captured the imaginations of children for an even longer period of time. How could everyone in a castle--even the flies on the walls--sleep for a century and then wake up? This magical, beautifully illustrated tale begins when the king excludes the most difficult fairy of the kingdom from a feast celebrating the birth of his beautiful daughter Briar Rose. Furious, the fairy storms in and curses the baby, pronouncing that on her fifteenth birthday she will be pricked by a distaff (from a spinning wheel) and fall down dead. The youngest fairy softens the curse to a century-long sleep. Despite the fact that the king burns all the spinning wheels in the kingdom, 15-year-old Briar Rose finds herself in the tower where the evil fairy and her fate await her. The drama of the spell unfurls as she and the other inhabitants of the castle fall instantly asleep, from courtiers to kitchen maids. Thorny briars--moodily captured by Trina Schart Hyman's masterful paintbrush--grow up around the castle. Hyman depicts those who died attempting to break through the maze of thorns to reach the legendary sleeping beauty in a nightmarish illustration. But goodness and true love prevail when the perfect prince does finally find his way through the thick vines.

Hyman won a Caldecott Medal for her work in Saint George and the Dragon by Margaret Hodges, and her version of The Sleeping Beauty makes us believe in the magic of the spell. The scenes inside the castle are alive with color and movement and rich with details that children will devour eagerly. Moods and expressions are rendered exquisitely, especially those of the wild, red-haired beauty Briar Rose. This wonderful read-aloud classic is one of Hyman's best. (Ages 5 to 9) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Also celebrating an anniversaryAits 30thAis Whose Mouse Are You? by Robert Kraus, illus. by Jose Aruego. Minimalist art and memorable text are more than the sum of its parts: "Whose mouse are you?/ Nobody's mouse./ Where is your mother?/ Inside a cat," it begins forlornly, but reverses into a joyful ending, with the mouse reuniting his far-flung family and gaining a new brother. (S&S, $17 40p ages 3-7 ISBN 0-689-84052-7; Sept.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 and up
  • Grade Level: Preschool and up
  • Hardcover: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown & Co.; 1st edition (October 30, 1977)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316387029
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316387026
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.4 x 10.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #855,115 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This book tells the traditional story of Sleeping Beauty with magnificent language, accompanied by spectacular illustrations. As in the original, Sleeping Beauty's mother is told that her dream of having a child would finally come true and that she would have a baby girl. The Queen did have the baby girl and her husband was so pleased he threw the biggest and grandest birthday party. He invited all but one person and not inviting her was the result in a terrible spell cast upon his daughter, Briar Rose. The spell was to put her to sleep on her 15th birthday, in which it did, after she touched the spinning wheel. Only a handsome man could wake her from the spell, and many years later that is what one man did. By kissing her, she returned to life and brought the whole castle life back with her. What catches the reader's attention in this particular book is the depth and colors of the illustrations. The position of the text also is very relevant in this story. Each picture is extremely detailed and shows that a great amount of thought was put into completing each page. It is very unique that the placement of the words on each page is located in some form of an opening. The text is placed in open skies, doorways, and blank walls on each page. In the beginning of the book, when the tone is darker, opening words are placed in a smaller and darker area; when Sleeping Beauty is awoken, the tone is much livelier. An example of this transition is relevant on the first two pages of the book, from the time when you are told the Queen could not have children to the time she has given birth to a baby girl. The first picture has dark colors and the trees are scary, close together and representative of a dark tone.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Hyman is a wonderful illustrator and her version of Sleeping Beauty is beautiful. It is one of the best versions since Edmund Dulac's classic illustrations. In fact, I don't have many favorite versions that have been published in the last fifty years. This is the version of Sleeping Beauty that I prefer to keep on my shelf for reading to children. The characters appear real and magical all at once. Hyman is a Caldecott award winning illustrator. This book is another example of why she is so honored.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Children's books have gotten larger over the years, so I was surprised to discover that this edition of Trina Schrt Hyman's "Sleeping Beauty" is only 8 x 10". A nice size, though. And the lush, lively illustrations fill the pages. Moreover, the text is beautifully integrated with the images, always appearing within an arched form, never obscuring or detracting from the pictures. It's quite a little masterpiece of layout. Sleeping Beauty is a redhead here, and exquisitely pretty. But the real delight is in the detailed depictions of the setting and of all the other figures in the drama: the otherworldly fairy women, the king and queen and their court, the servants, even the rather grisly scene of the less fortunate suitors who didn't make it through the thorn hedge--but something the Brothers Grimm tell us in their version.
Trina Schart Hyman's compositions are often cinematic in their point of view---she pulls you into the story. And of course, there are the landscapes, which are simply gorgeous, and exceptionally evocative. I'm happy to have this slightly worn edition that some library didn't think worth keeping on their shelves. The images are not worn at all, but fresh and exciting, confirming the gifts of one of out best illustrators.
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Format: Paperback
This is a very traditional telling of the Sleeping Beauty story, based on the fairy tale originally written down by the Brothers Grimm. There is no real innovation where the plot is concerned. What makes the book special is its beautiful illustrations. Trina Schart Hyman is a talented artist, and her drawings are a treat to look at. Each page is very nicely laid out, with the text set within the pictures (as opposed to having the text on blank pages and the pictures opposite, as is common). My only reservation is that some of the illustrations are quite dark and oppressive, and may bother very young children. The one that is most disturbing is the picture showing the dead and decaying bodies of Princess Briar Rose's many failed suitors caught in the thorny brambles around the castle. So I'd advise caution with the extremely young, but the book would be great for slightly older children. It is suitable either to be read aloud, or for the kids to read themselves. All in all, a beautiful telling of this classic story.
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Format: Hardcover
I had never heard of Trina Schart Hyman, let alone seen any of her illustrations as a child. When I saw the cover of this book however I was just drawn right in, there was no resisting her spell. Based on the traditional Grimms telling of the fairy tale there's nothing new in the plot, the illustrations is what really makes this special though is the illustrations, they're a little dark, but you can tell hours of painstaking detail was put into each picture. So if for no other reason buy this for the illustrations and nothing else, I promise it'll elicit hours of enjoyment looking through each one and seeing a new detail every time you look at each picture.
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