Beauty and the Beast

by Deborah Apy Kohen

Other authorsMichael Hague (Illustrator)
Paperback, 1980

Status

Available

Publication

Green Tiger Pr (1980)

Description

Through her great capacity to love, a kind and beautiful maid releases a handsome prince from the spell which has made him an ugly beast.

Media reviews

The New York Times Book Review
"Michael Hague's full page pictures...captur[e] the bewitched and surreal atmosphere of the original."

User reviews

LibraryThing member AbigailAdams26
Originally published in 1980 by the Green Tiger Press - a small, independent publisher based in Seattle, WA, that produced beautifully illustrated fairy-tales, and other children's books - and then reprinted in this 1983 edition by Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Deborah Apy's retelling of the classic
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French story of Beauty and the Beast is based upon the version first recorded by Mme. le Prince de Beaumont in 1756, and accompanied by the artwork of Michael Hague. Text-heavy for a picture-book (one might almost say it was more of an illustrated chapter-book, with the occasional full-page illustration), the tale will be engrossing for older readers interested in the genre, but undoubtedly beyond the younger children who are normally considered the target audience for picture-books.

I enjoyed this version, which I have owned for some years, but never seem to have gotten around to, although I did find myself wondering, as I read through, just how faithful it was to the le Prince de Beaumont version. It's been a few years since I read Zipes' translation (which is probably the best available in English), but I don't recall there being any unicorns in the fairy-tale, not even in the dreams sent by the good fairy watching over Beauty during her stay in the Beast's palace. Then again, Michael Hague is known for his depiction of unicorns (as well as teddy-bears, oddly enough), so perhaps Apy deliberately inserted them into her story, in order to provide him the opportunity to include them in his paintings? I think I will have to reread the original again, sometime soon, to make sure!

In any case, I appreciated the artwork in this Beauty and the Beast, although I didn't (as is usual with Hague's work) love it. I grew up on his version of The Wizard of Oz, and can never really dislike his work, as a consequence, but it is never exactly what I want, either. His Beauty simply doesn't appeal to me, and his Beast is an odd mix of lion and ram. On the other hand, the scene where Beauty and her father open the chest and are surrounded by butterflies (in the original? or not?) is irresistibly magical, as is the scene in which the winged fairy floats outside Beauty's curtained bed. All in all, this is a retelling with both narrative and artistic appeal, despite being somewhat uneven, and although it will never be one of my favorites (for that, see: Max Eilenberg and Angela Barrett's Beauty and the Beast, or Nancy Willard and Barry Moser's version), I do recommend it to readers interested in exploring diverse interpretations of this classic tale.
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LibraryThing member t1bclasslibrary
This is a very long and detailed version of Beauty and the Beast- not good for a fifteen minute read, but good for showing how to add detail to a story. The pictures are equally detailed.

Language

Original language

English

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