Beauty and the Beast

Retold and illustrated by

Jan Brett
ISBN: 978-0399257315

     Jan Brett wanted her version of Beauty and the Beast to be a fairy tale in which a fairy actually
appears. Jan says:
     "A fairy's spell is the catalyst that sets in motion the events that prove the worth of the
characters.  My Beast is a wild boar, modeled on the work of 19th century illustrator, Walter Crane. The tapestries were inspired by those designed by the William Morris company as part of the England Arts and Crafts Movement. The mottos on them attempt to capture the spirit of Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch's version of this tale, in which the messages appear over doorways and in dreams."
     The story of Beauty and the Beast has been a classic fairytale favorite for centuries, as popular today as it was long ago. Jan Brett offers a romantic and mysterious view of the struggles between Beauty and the Beast. Beauty must leave home and live in a palace of the Beast to save her father's life. Meeting the fearsome Beast coming out of the shadows is even more frightening than she expected.
     The palace is filled with intriguing animal servants who take care of Beauty, and gradually the Beast befriends her as she comes to know him. Yet she cannot accept his proposal of marriage because she cannot return his love. Will she break his heart forever?
     Jan Brett provides a magical dimension to the tale in exquisite tapestries, which offer clues to the outcome of the story's dilemma.
     Extraordinary illustrations of the palace rooms and an abundance of roses and wandering peacocks in the palace gardens are enchanting. Readers will marvel at the gorgeous Beauty, and who her ugly suitor really is, as they too are won over by the Beast kindness.

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