BEAUTY AND THE BEAST by H. Chuku Lee
Kirkus Star

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

by ; illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 8
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

A brown-skinned Beauty—what a refreshing change!

Cornrows, braids and beads, Afro puffs and twists. No, it’s not an African-American hair magazine; these are some of the hairstyles that Beauty and her sisters sport in Cummings and Lee’s ethnically rich retelling of an old, typically Caucasian favorite. The Beast’s family crest, an intricate figure on the title page that strongly resembles a West African Adinkra symbol, sets the stage for this picture book’s all-black cast of characters. Though Lee recounts the familiar French version in the text, beginning with the cover image, the illustrations affirm the beauty of this lithe girl of African descent and even of her mean-spirited sisters. Cummings’ illustrations convey so much detail that even the pre-transformation Beast seems beautiful…in his own way. Because of these culturally specific visual dynamics, the handsome visage of Beast-turned-prince comes as no surprise. Readers who attend to detail will delight in the Beast’s fierce animal topiaries and in a plethora of beastly faces found in unlikely places such as the backs of chairs, masks hanging on the walls and the cedar chest in Beauty’s room.

This lovely reimagining of an old tale affirms the browning of American’s contemporary young readership. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2014
ISBN: 978-0-688-14819-5
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Amistad/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 2013




BEST PICTURE BOOKS OF 2014 THAT CELEBRATE DIVERSITY:

ChildrenMORRIS MICKLEWHITE AND THE TANGERINE DRESS by Christine Baldacchino
by Christine Baldacchino
ChildrenASHLEY BRYAN'S PUPPETS by Ashley  Bryan
by Ashley Bryan
ChildrenGRANDFATHER GANDHI by Arun Gandhi
by Arun Gandhi
ChildrenCALL ME TREE / LLÁMAME  ÁRBOL by Maya Christina Gonzalez
by Maya Christina Gonzalez

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenRAPUNZEL  by Chloe Perkins
by Chloe Perkins
ChildrenPARTY CROC! by Margaret Read MacDonald
by Margaret Read MacDonald
ChildrenBEAUTY AND THE BEAST by An  Leysen
by An Leysen
ChildrenBEAUTY AND THE BEAST by Ursula Jones
by Ursula Jones