Beauty and the Beastly Children

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1993 Hardcover New Mylar-covered Dust Jacket. -

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 2-4-In colloquial, sassy prose, this story imagines what might have happened after Beauty married the Beast. King Auguste returns to his vain, proud, and thoughtless ways-the very reasons, states Tunnell, that the fairy had cursed him in the first place. He ignores his deteriorating kingdom, carouses with the castle gang, and is not there when Beauty delivers triplets. But the sight of a familiar old hag in the woods sends him rushing home in fear that she will work her curse again on him. She has; Auguste is still a man but his three newborn sons have beastly features. (While the text refers several times to ``paws,'' the full-color paintings inexcusably show only feet and hands, and young listeners are sure to ask ``Where are the paws?'') The fairy's curse decrees that the boys' behavior be outrageous and only controllable if their irresponsible father will take charge. Once Auguste becomes a better father, the boys and the kingdom return to normal. Beauty is shown beating her twit of a husband with her fists, and if she knows why Auguste has suddenly transformed, she only smiles wisely. It may be clear to her what's going on, but one has to wonder what young readers will make of this family's values and the instant resolution of its problems.-Susan Hepler, Alexandria City Public Schools, VA
Emily Melton
. Traditional fairy tales usually end with the hero and heroine living happily ever after. Not so for Beauty and her Beast, claims author Tunnell. The two marry, but the Beast (real name: Auguste) has a severe relapse. Falling back into his pre-spell vanity, Beast neglects Beauty in favor of ale drinking and dart playing. Then Beauty gives birth to triplets, who look suspiciously hairy and act like wild beasts. But the wayward Auguste returns home only when he sees how unruly his offspring have become. His fatherly ministrations bring the youngsters around; the witch revokes the beastly spell; and this time, there's a happy ending. Tunnell has developed an unusual plot idea that may appeal to youngsters; however, especially for those who have seen the movie, it may be rather disillusioning to imagine the beloved Beast as just one more loutish male and to see Beauty portrayed as a frowning shrew. The updated language (Auguste "hangs around" with his buddies, for example) is breezy but jarring. Cymerman's illustrations are accomplished, colorful, and witty, even if the details don't always jibe with the story. A clever idea that doesn't quite pan out, this book is probably best for larger collections.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780688121815
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/1/1993
  • Edition description: 1st edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.82 (w) x 8.79 (h) x 0.41 (d)

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