Beauty and the Beast

retold by H. Chuku Lee, illustrated by Pat Cummings

A delightful African variation of the familiar tale created by a husband and wife team of author and illustrator.

According to the preface of this book, "Beauty and the Beast" was first told in 1740 by Madam Gabrielle-Suzanne Barot Gallon de Villeneuve.  While it has been retold and reimagined many different times since then, the creators of this version - a husband and wife team of author and illustrator - have put a fresh spin on the familiar tale.

In this book, the story is told in first person by the Beauty, herself.  The text is simple includes only the elements of the tale that she would know and consider important.  Readers are spared details about her sisters' behavior and Beauty remorsefully admits her mistake in breaking her promise to the beast.

The illustrations are equally fresh and inviting.  They depict an imaginary kingdom where the people and clothing are of West African descent and the architecture mimics that found in the mountain region of central Mali.