Book Cover
Title Beauty and the Beast
Series ---
Author Kay Brown
Illustrated By Gerry Embleton
Publisher Derrydale - 1978
First Printing Derrydale - 1978
Category Children
Warnings None

Main Characters

Beauty, the Beast

Main Elements Fairies


The classic tale of the beautiful girl who sees through the beastly exterior of her captor to see his kind heart. All the Derrydale classics have beautiful illustrations. This one in particular has really cute things going on in the background. If you look carefuly you see hedgehog families going out for a walk and other woodland creatures minding their own business as the main tale unfolds before you. Even the trees and the castles have faces. The one critique I have of these books is that they tend to change things here and there, in particular the wording. But then they are meant for younger readers. The ending is also altered somewhat. In the original Beauty's sisters didn't fare very well, but in the book they all lived happily ever after.

Determining the origins of any fairy tale is difficult, many having roots in ancient folklore. It appears that Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve might have been the first author to publish the story, while Jeanne-Marie Le Prince de Beaumont has credit for the version we are most familiar with. Charles Perrault (author of other classics like Puss in Boots) also has a version which I found on Project Gutenberg. Oddly, it is one of the few famous tales that the Brothers Grimm didn't appear to retell in their own words. Disney of course also has their own retelling in what I consider as one of the their best movies.

As I've always been a big fan of the Phantom of the Opera, which is essentially Beauty and the Beast retold in the setting of an opera house, this is one of my favorite fairy tales.

BTW, it was a little hard to categorize this story in the context of my site. While there is a fairy involved, you don't really get to meet her, although in other versions of the story she plays a much greater role. Sometimes she is outright evil, and other times she justly punishes the vain and arrogant prince.

Posted: March 2011


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