The MinaLima version of Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve’s The Beauty and the Beast is a stunningly illustrated edition featuring interactive elements and beautiful designs to complement the classic fairy tale.
This is the original fairy tale, in which a beautiful woman goes to live in the palace of a beast in order to save her father – very familiar, right? Where it differs most from the Disney-fied version is how the story continues after the beast has turned back into a prince, and the rather lengthy explanations for how and why he was cursed in the first place.
The Beauty and the Beast is the kind of story often referred to as a ‘timeless classic’ but, actually, it hasn’t aged well. The love-story is one of the least romantic things I’ve ever read, while the entire book is filled with duty-bound actions and appalling sexism. Without the many retellings and modern versions of this story, it would not have survived the test of time.
It’s a lovely, traditional story – despite the overt sexism – but what really makes this book special are the illustrations. They bought the book to life.