Sunday, March 1, 2009

Beauty and the Beast


Beauty and the Beast
by Adele Geras and illustrated by Louise Brierley

In this book, a wealthy man has three daughters who are all beautiful. The youngest one, Belle, is the sweetest and most beautiful, and she never complains. The father is a merchant, and one day all of his ships at sea sink except for one. They have lost a lot of money, so the father goes to port to get his last remaining ship and money. Before he sets off, he asks his daughters what gifts they would like him to bring back. The oldest asks for a diamond, the middle asks for a pearl, and Belle asks for her father to return home safely. But she says if she must ask for a present, she would like a red rose. The merchant is not able to find a red rose in a shop so he decides to look for one along the road. He gets lost, and winds up at a mansion. He goes inside, but cannot find anyone. The mansion is enchanted and mysteriously cooks him a meal, gives him a bath, and washes his clothes. As he is leaving he sees a rose garden outside the mansion so he goes and picks a rose for Belle. At that moment he hears a loud roar and a beast appears. It is the beast that lives at the mansion and he calls father selfish for stealing from him after all the hospitality he has given him. He tells the father he must go home and send him one of his daughters on their own will and they must stay with him forever, or else the father must come back and be punished. Belle goes happily for her father and stays with the beast. She is very scared of him at first and misses her family but she becomes used to the mansion and starts to enjoy it. The beast asks her to marry him everyday but Belle always says no. One day she finds out her father is sick and asks the beast to let her go home to him. The beast allows her to go, and asks her to please come back to him. Belle stays with her father for a few weeks and misses the beast while she is away. One night she looks in her magic mirror and sees that the beast is dying in the rose garden. She hurries back to the beast and finds him unconcscious in the rose garden. She cries over him and tells him she loves him. The beast wakes back up, but as a handsome young man. He tells Belle of the curse a bad fairy put on him, that he would be a beast until a woman agreed to marry him. They end up getting married and live happily ever after. I would use this in the classroom when I was reading other fairy tales to the students. Also, to teach the students about how you cannot judge someone based on their looks. 

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