Today’s Adventure is having a week of fairy tale books, and I thought that was so cool. She’s wanting people to write about their favorite adaptations and the like. I thought I would go through my favorite versions of Beauty and the Beast.
Beauty- this is the book that got me hooked on Beauty and the Beast. I think I first read it in 6th grade, so that tells you the age range. One of the things I like about this version is the sisters all get along, and Beauty is so likable.
Rose Daughter- This is Robin McKinley’s second foray into Beauty and the Beast, and this version is geared towards an older audience. It’s a little darker, but probably high school aged I’d guess. Maybe junior high, I guess if Twilight is for that age, then this could be as well. I love the fact that she was able to write the same story twice and both times it was completely different take.
Beast- This is the only version I’ve found that is written from the Beast’s point of view. It was really intriguing, but it’s not one that I reread as often as the other two. One of the things I found interesting is the Beast comes from India (as I recall) and migrates all the way to France. All in all it was an enjoyable read.
Beauty- this is set in modern day. It’s a little different in that it’s not a fantasy tale, but it’s still the same idea. She goes to live with a “beast” and slowly falls in love with him and is called away to help her ailing father and discovers the depth of her love. I like the different variation, but it’s still hard to hold a candle to the Robin McKinley ones. Still, it’s a fun change of pace.
Beauty and the Beast- This is probably one of my two favorite picture book versions. I love the illustrations and wish I could illustrate like this. It follows fairly closely to the original tale, and it’s so much fun to read.
The Dragon Prince- This is the only version from a different culture of Beauty and the Beast that I own. Like most of the versions I own I haven’t shared it with my kids yet because it’s geared more for about a second grade level (at least). I like this version because both have to search out their true love when things go awry at the end. “The eye sees what it will, but the heart sees what it should.” That’s the lesson taught in this version on both sides.
Beauty and the Beast- I think this probably most closely follows the traditional tale as a retelling, with the addition of the dreams Beauty has. Each night after she goes to bed she dreams of a handsome prince, and longs to find him. In this version Beast is a magician and able to conjure up amazing images to accompany the stories he tells. I love the way she retells it.
Bunny and the Beast- I have to admit I got this one partially because the cover is so overboard. I’ve got a whole series of fairy tale cards by this illustrator and got it mainly for this. I love the illustrations, they’re incredibly lavish. This, like the Mercer Mayer and the Dragon Prince again has the sisters not getting along, which is true to the original fairy tale, even though I like Beauty and Rose Daughter for changing that fact. It’s still a fun book to read. Again this is probably geared more to second grade, more because of the length. The pictures are not disturbing at all, but it is a longer picture book.
Well, I’d try and claim these are all of my copies, but that would be a lie. These are just the ones that I love the pictures or the story particularly. I have another one somewhere I wanted to spotlight that was wonderfully long, sort of a novella with wonderfully gothic illustrations, but I can’t find it amongst my Beauty and the Beast shelf, so it’s hiding.
Head on over to Today’s Adventures for Once Upon a Week, where most people are reviewing young adult books, but hey I mostly write about my preschoolers. Goodness, I’m going to have to start referring to the boys as kindergarteners. That’s scary.
I’ll hopefully get a chance to put up my Sleeping Beauty recommendations. I don’t have as many of those. I think I have 3 novels for it, and a few picture books. Oddly enough, even though Cinderella is the most commonly adapted story, it’s one of the ones I own the fewest of.
I’d link this over to Mouse Grows, Mouse Learns, but I don’t think this is what my kids are reading………