A version of the classic tale rich in color and design but less than satisfying in the telling.
Beauty’s two older sisters are the villains, wanting only riches and titled husbands and wailing when their father loses his wealth and they must move to the countryside. When he returns to the city to mitigate his losses, the sisters ask for diamond tiaras and dresses, while Beauty asks for a rose, and the tale takes its traditional course. Beauty bravely attends the Beast, learns to appreciate what he offers her in books and amusements, but gently rejects him each night when he asks her to marry him. When she returns home to visit her father, she brings beautiful clothes that her sisters try to steal, but they turn into foolish-looking underwear when the sisters put them on. In revenge, her sisters conspire to keep her from the Beast, and she returns late only when she dreams he is dying, and the tale ends as readers will expect. Exquisite floral details, tiny patterns and cut-paper silhouettes make for much loveliness, but the touches of humor are forced, and the sisters are just silly.
While one can nearly always use another gold-embossed fairy tale, this one fails to enchant. (Picture book/fairy tale. 5-8)