Beauty and the Beast

by Mahlon F. Craft

Other authorsKinuko Y. Craft (Illustrator)
Hardcover, 2016



Local notes

398.2 Bea



HarperCollins (2016), 32 pages. $17.99 (Sept 2017).


In a glorious castle set deep in a mysterious forest, the tale of a father's fate-filled promise and a daughter's courage unfolds. This story, themed on Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont's version first published in France in 1756, is filled with sumptuous paintings and ornamental detail.


Original language


Physical description

32 p.; 9 inches


0060539194 / 9780060539191



User reviews

LibraryThing member AbigailAdams26
Author Mahlon F. Craft and illustrator Kinuko Craft, whose earlier collaboration on Sleeping Beauty was a triumph of fairy-tale retelling and artwork, join forces again for this gorgeous picture-book version of Beauty and the Beast. Based upon the version of this story set down by Mme. Jean-Marie Leprince de Beaumont in 1756 (itself based upon an earlier tale published by Mme. de Villeneuve in 1740), this retelling follows the traditional outline of the story, in which an impoverished merchant moves with his daughters to the countryside, in order to retrench, and to live more frugally. When good fortune seems to smile on the family again, the merchant's daughters all clamor for rich gifts - all save Beauty, who asks only for a rose. The procurement of that rose proves costly however, and Beauty finds herself taking her father's place at a terrible beast's castle, deep in the woods. Here not is all as it seems, and slowly the magic of love begins to work a change on our heroine...

Beauty and the Beast, perhaps the best-known example of the 'enchanted bridegroom' tale - type 425C in the Aarne-Thompson-Uther folklore classification system - is one of my absolute favorite fairy-tales, so I was simply delighted to learn, earlier this year, that a new picture-book retelling by Kinuko Craft, one of my absolute favorite fairy-tale illustrators, was due out this July. I am even more thrilled that I had a chance to look at an advanced readers copy today - thank you indeed to the colleague who provided it to me, as it is a joy to peruse! The retelling is a capable one, but the true joy (as expected) was the lush artwork, which Craft has apparently been working on for over a decade. The initial painting, which shows the country cottage to which the merchant and his daughters have withdrawn, reminded me a bit of the tiny house in What Miranda Knew, one of the formative titles of my early childhood. With that initial positive association, things only went from good to better. The colors used are vibrant without being garish, and each scene is a delight, in every intricate detail. The settings, whether garden or palace, are simply gorgeous - the two-page spread in which Beauty discovers the theatre left me simply breathless at its magnificence - as are the costumes. Beast himself is rather interesting - part bear, part leopard, part boar - and Beauty is lovely (of course). Craft ably captures the enchantment of the tale, but she also captures the emotion, whether it be the tender scene in which Beauty and her father embrace, or the poignant one in which she finds the dying Beast. Strongly recommended to all fairy-tale fans, as well as to admirers of Kinuko Craft's work!
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(12 ratings; 4.5)
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