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|Beauty and the beast|
Author: Lee, H. Chuku
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. A retelling based in the culture of West Africa.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: LG
Reading Level: 4.20
Points: .5 Quiz: 175737
Kirkus Reviews (+) (12/15/13)
School Library Journal (01/01/14)
The Hornbook (00/01/14)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 01/01/2014 Gr 3–6—Set in West Africa, this ageless tale of love kindled through the graciousness and devotion of an outwardly hideous "Beast" is smartly narrated in clipped, contemporary first person by Beauty, the youngest and most devoted of four daughters, who asks her father for a rose, while her sisters request a list of finery. ("How could I know his promise to bring me a single rose would change all our lives forever?") Beautifully executed full- and double-page folk-style illustrations combine the vivid hues of watercolor, the softness of pastel, and the texture of gouache. Bold African patterns; elegance in design of clothing, jewelry and coiffures; and the unique architectural style of the Beast's enchanted palace, with influences from the ancient Dogon buildings of Mali, add to the book's distinctiveness. The palace's invisible servants watch from eyes in a cabinet's wood grain, stone faces on pillars, and masks on the walls. Lee's retelling retains the major elements of the original story while providing a fresh approach that demands consideration for all collections.—Susan Scheps, formerly at Shaker Public Library, OH - Copyright 2014 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 02/15/2014 This charming retelling of the classic fairy tale tackles age-old themes of friendship, love, and loyalty with a fresh sophistication. Told from Beauty’s first-person perspective, the story has a quiet, calm tone that mitigates the creepiness of Beast’s possessive love. In Cummings’ illustrations, however, his face is kindly—not a bit ominous—so readers are encouraged to be empathetic even while he keeps Beauty apart from her family. Ultimately, of course, Beauty learns that she can love a father and a husband and never have to leave the palace, and thus keeps everyone happy. “Now,” says Beauty in the final turnaround, “I would not leave!” Vibrant watercolor-and-gouache paintings based on West African architecture, landscape, and cultural motifs set this tale apart from the European versions, reminding readers that there is beauty to be found in beasts all over the world. - Copyright 2014 Booklist.