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The Lady and the Lion

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Overview

Love and honor can overcome even the fiercest obstacles, as we see in this spellbinding fairy tale, with shades of "Beauty and the Beast." To save her father, a young woman must go to the castle of a menacing lion. She fears for her life, but finds kindness rather than danger there, for the lion by day is a gentle young man by night-a prince under the spell of a wicked enchantress. Soon the lady and the lion fall in love.

Unlike the more familiar tale, however, this story has ...

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Overview

Love and honor can overcome even the fiercest obstacles, as we see in this spellbinding fairy tale, with shades of "Beauty and the Beast." To save her father, a young woman must go to the castle of a menacing lion. She fears for her life, but finds kindness rather than danger there, for the lion by day is a gentle young man by night-a prince under the spell of a wicked enchantress. Soon the lady and the lion fall in love.

Unlike the more familiar tale, however, this story has only just begun. The prince is not yet safe from the enchantress, and it will take all of the lady's strength and courage, through a seven-year quest, to rescue him. Dazzlingly romantic and visually magnificent, this is a book for the ages-an exhilarating tale of virtue, heroism, and the power of love.

Illustrated by Laurel Long.

With help from Sun, Moon, and North Wind, a lady travels the world seeking to save her beloved from the evil enchantress who turned him first into a lion, then into a dove.

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Editorial Reviews

The Washington Post
The lucid retelling finesses some of the bumpy transitions of the original and pairs beautifully with Long's exotic, pre-Raphaelite-style oil paintings. — Elizabeth Ward
Publishers Weekly
Retelling a Brothers Grimm tale also known as "The Singing, Springing Lark," Long and Ogburn bring to their adaptation the same flourish and romance that distinguished their The Magic Nesting Doll. This story, which combines elements of "Beauty and the Beast" and "East of the Sun, West of the Moon," offers a courageous and steadfast heroine, a handsome lover transformed by the spell of a wicked enchantress, a seven-year quest that tests the couple's faith in each other-in short, everything a fairy-tale fan could want. The authors streamline the original, wisely conflating a few very minor episodes and adding a surge of power to the climactic ending. Graceful as the narrative is, the lion's share of this book's strength derives from the show-stopping art. Long's lush oils conjure a medieval world of castles and mystical beasts, ornate gardens and lush vegetation. Her characters wear richly patterned clothing, and they travel across seascapes and landscapes that curl if not writhe in response to natural and supernatural forces. Through it all, light seems to radiate from her paintings; while they share the complexity of rare tapestries, they also achieve the luminosity of stained glass. Ages 5-up. (Oct.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
In this romantic variant of the Beauty and the Beast story with echoes of East of the Sun and West of the Moon, a young girl must go to a fierce lion's castle because of her father's promise. He is, of course, an enchanted prince, whom she loves and marries. Under a spell from an enchantress, he is a man only at night. He must not be touched by light or he will turn into a dove. When this happens, she bravely sets forth to follow and save him. With the help of the sun, the moon, the North Wind, and a griffin she finds him, only to lose him again to the enchantress. She rescues him at last for the happy ending. Long's full-page oil paintings and vignettes are opulent with detail, ripe with the passions of traditional fairy tales, filled with the interweaving of natural patterns of trees and flowers with delicate fabric and jewelry patterns. The gloriously lush sequence of images along with the lengthy but lively text, all set in frames, are sure to stir emotions. Take time to appreciate the end papers and the elaborately framed double portrait on the jacket/cover that set the stage for the romance to come. The sources used for the story are listed. 2003, Dial Books for Young Readers/Penguin Young Readers Group, Ages 4 to 9.
— Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Library Journal
Gr 2-4-A romantic retelling of the Grimm tale more commonly known as "The Singing, Soaring Lark" (also, "The Lilting, Leaping Lark"). With its themes of love transformed and questing heroine, the story has much in common with "Beauty and the Beast" and "East of the Sun, West of the Moon" (which Long and Ogburn note in a foreword). The tale begins when a father promises a lark to his youngest daughter and then must make a hard bargain with its owner, a lion. To fulfill that agreement, the young woman returns to the lion's enchanted castle. She discovers that he is a lion by day and a handsome prince by night. The two fall in love, marry, and live happily until the lady desires to return home for a visit. Long's oil paintings on watercolor paper are appropriately lavish and romantic, rich with color and detail. The endpapers are covered with elaborate line drawings of vines and animals, and ornate, stylized borders frame each page. Long and Ogburn emphasize the heroine's strength of character: she honorably carries out her father's promise and greets the lion, noting: "A lion that loves birds will do no harm." The beast is ultimately transformed through the magic of human love, along with the heroine's perseverance.-Marilyn Taniguchi, Beverly Hills Public Library, CA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Long's romantic, extravagantly detailed paintings provide showstopping accompaniment to this lightly reworked Grimm Brothers version of "East of the Sun and West of the Moon." The course of true love runs anything but smooth for a merchant's younger daughter when she meets a prince under a complex enchantment. First, he's a lion by day, then he's transformed into a dove that she must seek for seven years, and then, just as they're reunited, the enchantress behind it all snatches him away to a very remote castle. With help from several magical talismans and sympathetic Powers, the heroine rescues him at last, while the enraged enchantress falls from her high window in the ensuing escape. In a style that evokes both Persian miniatures and the pre-Raphaelite painters, Long frames pale, graceful figures clad in elaborately patterned silks and velvets within swirls of vines, flowers, waves, clouds, and stone arches. Readers who delight in the art of Kinuko Craft, Marianna Mayer, and like romantics will be dazzled. (Picture book/folktale. 10-13)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803726512
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 10/27/2003
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 5 - 6 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.40 (w) x 11.84 (h) x 0.47 (d)

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 14, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Beautiful and elaborate illustrations that take your breath away

    I love this childrens book, and I only discovered it at eighteen! I collect all kinds of books and this is my favorite out of the childrens book selection that I have simply because of the beauty of the pictures! The story is a beauty and the beast retelling, which is also my favorite fairy tale, and is perfect for children and adults who appreciate the simple pleasures of the eye.

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