TITLE: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
AUTHOR: H. CHUKU LEE
ILLUSTRATOR: PAT CUMMINGS
DESCRIPTION: H. Chuku Lee presents a dynamic and diverse retelling of this traditional fairy tale of a daughter’s love for her family and her encounter with a being so physically abhorrent that his name becomes beast. We are heartened and delighted in this retelling as the daughter or Beauty opens her heart to this sad creature and works a miracle of love.
WHY I LIKE THIS BOOK: The little black girl in me leapt for joy as I gazed upon the incredibly beautiful princess like figure on the cover of this book. Chuku Lee’s decision to set the story in Africa opened the door to an array of opportunities that breathed new life into this tale and made it a more accessible story to countless children and adults. Pat Cummings joins her husband in illustrating this lovely text with artistic flair and luscious color. The strong father figure who is a successful businessman sets the stage for the magical unfolding of this tale. The selfish sisters desires opposed to Beauty’s simple requests teach important moral lessons that even young children can grasp. The final lesson on keeping promises also shines through in this rendition that leaves you breathless at the romantic and magical conclusion. I saw myself in Beauty’s place as I’m sure so many other little girls will as well. We are all princesses and this retelling of Beauty and the Beast makes that dream come alive for all of us!
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