Beauty and the Beast by Jessica Gunderson is a graphic novel retelling illustrated by Thais Damião. This story follows the original story rather than the Disney version, thus including Beauty’s two sisters, her father’s attempted rose theft, and no Gaston. A book I would recommend for young or beginning readers, this Beauty and the Beast is definitely one I’m happy to recommend.
The story is told in a rather straightforward and simple manner, going through the whole tale incredibly quickly. You’re not spending a lot of time to get to know the characters or to see them interact, but fortunately, the illustrations do a superb job of filling in the context for readers as they go through what is really a general summary of the events with some dialogue in between.
The illustrations are gorgeous, depicting a PoC Beauty, which I greatly appreciated. The only character whose artwork I wasn’t entirely fond of was Beast’s beastly form which, admittedly, I’m okay with. He’s supposed to look like a monster, after all, and Damião still did an excellent job of portraying the character’s emotions.
Given the age group that I’m expecting to be reading this story, I think it’s all done exceptionally. For me, personally, the story is a bit on the simple side. I think, ultimately, what one gets out of this book depends on who is reading it. For young children having a bedtime story read to them who are just learning how to read, this is a pretty great book. For young readers who are at an age where simple stories are complex still, this is a pretty great book. For older kids and young readers who are a bit more advanced, it might be a little too easy.
I was provided a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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