Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Beast

by Nancy Willard

On a cold winter morning, young Beauty journeys to the Beast's mansion to take the place of her father, who has incurred the wrath of the Beast.

  • Language: English
  • Category: Fantasy
  • Rating: 4.20
  • Pages: 67
  • Publish Date: September 1st 1992 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt P
  • Isbn10: 0152060529
  • Isbn13: 9780152060527

What People Think about "Beauty and the Beast"

I enjoyed the Americanization of the story which gave it more of a realistic feel but could still sense the influence of Cocteau's more fairy tale like version.

Nancy Willard gives it its due in her lovely descriptions but the whole upper crust Manhattan, Tiffanys , etc.

The descriptions are incredible, and this story really needed colorful illustrations to go along with it.

In this version of Beauty and the Beast, illustrations by Barry Moser and text by Nancy Willard, I must say I got a lot more than I bargained for! The Illustrations Barry Moser brings his own undeniable talents to the story of Beauty and the Beast and puts his unique and slightly horrifying stamp on it. His woodcut drawings illustrate a story in a horror movie style gloomy and foreboding, full of hidden mystery just waiting to jump out at you and have you for dinner. An illustration only pops up every five pages or so, so when you do turn the page, it can be unexpected, especially when the illustration shows a portrait style picture of a character looking straight back at the reader. Of the 14 illustrations, 4 are close ups of objects or hands, 4 are pictures showing settings, and the remaining 6 are all portrait style illustrations of different characters, and 4 of those are of the character illustrated staring at the reader. When I got over my shock of fear and was able to look at the picture a little more critically, I decided he reminded most strongly of Mr. Hyde this Beast looked like the dark side of humanity all wrapped up in one creature wearing natty evening clothes and a top hat. The fact that Moser has illustrated Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde along with Frankenstein perhaps explains why he chose to make the Beast so human. However, there are two illustrations of Beauty and the Beast that remind the viewer strongly that this is, after all, a love story. This version sets Beauty and the Beast in early Edwardian New York, circa 1906. Beauty takes her fathers place and when she returns, further descriptions of the Beasts home, the furniture, the decorations, the opulence and luxury, the dining room, the meals, the music, the bedroom, the dresses, and, oh, the books!, left me, frankly, jealous. Time passes, and we get the story of two people actually taking the time to get to know one another before falling in love (which is why this is my favorite of the fairy tales) as well as Beauty exploring more and more of the mysterious house. The story continues along the well worn path: Beauty returns home for a visit, shes delayed by her sisters going back, reunites with the Beast, True Love proclaimed, curses broken, and happily ever afters all around.

This Beauty and the Beast setting has been transported from an enchanted castle in Europe to an enchanted mansion on the east coast. The illustrations are done in all black and white wood engravings and do an excellent job of giving it an American gothic feel to the story, but it was a bit disappointing after reading so many beautifully colored and bright illustrations of the original tales.

It reads like a sophisticated picture book. The retelling of this story does a great job of mixing the old with the new. This is definitely a unique retelling of this tale and Willard does a great job of making it new and creative.

"how did Disney get belle and france out of NYC and the nineteenth century?" Like I said, an embarrassing amount of time (but thankfully way before the end). I had not realized that wood engraving was still a viable avenue for artists to make a name and money for themselves.

Class 3: Object Motif #3 (The Wilting Rose) Characters: Belle, Her Father, The Townspeople, The Beast and the servants-turned-personified-objects of his house Setting: A far away time and place Interest Level: grades 5-7 Attempting to save her father from lifelong imprisonment in the beast's castle, Belle offers herself in his stead.