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Beauty and the Beastby Max Eilenberg and Angela Barrett
Synopses & Reviews
Exquisite paintings and a lush retelling bring a treasured classic to new life.
A beautiful daughter dreams of meeting a handsome prince, but in order to save her father's life, she leaves home to live with a terrible, frightening beast. Though her patron is hideous, his disarming generosity slowly leads to a surprising connection. Accessibly and with great compassion, Max Eilenberg sheds fresh light on one of our most beloved fairy tales. Angela Barrett's enchanting illustrations illuminate both the sumptuous palace and the horrifying beast himself. The resulting tour de force reminds us that ultimately love conquers all.
"In this new version of the classic, florid prose threatens to overpower Barrett's delicate watercolors. Eilenberg (Squeak's Good Idea) follows the lines of the 18th-century original, jazzing up the story with a pompous Briton for Beauty's father, Mr. Fortune ('Fortune by name, fortune by nature,' is a favorite saying of his), two cruel sisters named Hermione and Gertrude, and plenty of velvety vocabulary ('red roses of the most exquisite loveliness and perfection'). Yet the magic of the retelling belongs to Barrett (Joan of Arc). Although often relegated to the borders of the page to make way for the lengthy text, each of the artist's vignettes offers viewers a small assortment of delicacies, like a box of 'petit fours,' as Beauty whiles away her days in a succession of beautifully appointed rooms, or wanders through gardens of fantastic topiary. Beast's overpowering stature conveys his threat; but his sleek, graceful appearance never becomes repulsive. While the purple prose may embarrass youngsters ('She had found love and lost it, and it was so much more than she had ever imagined, and the pain was unbearable'), Barrett tempers the passion of the lovers' final kiss with a bored housecat cleaning itself at their feet. Writer and artist are both at their best in the luxury of the Beast's palace. Collectors of sumptuous fairy tale editions will not want to miss this one. Ages 6-10." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
About the Author
Max Eilenberg is the author of SQUEAK'S GOOD IDEA, illustrated by Patrick Benson, and COWBOY KID, illustrated by Sue Heap. He lives in London.
Angela Barrett is the illustrator of many picture books, including JOAN OF ARC by Josephine Poole, THE HIDDEN HOUSE by Martin Waddell, and THROUGH THE TEMPESTS DARK AND WILD: A STORY OF MARY SHELLEY, CREATOR OF FRANKENSTEIN by Sharon Darrow. She lives in London.
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