Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Beauty and the Beast: Classic Tales About Animal Brides and Grooms from Around the World by Maria Tatar

Perhaps no fairy tale is as widely known as 'Beauty and the Beast' - and perhaps no fairy tale exists in as many variations. Nearly every culture tells the story in one fashion or another - such cultural phenomena as The Fault in Our Stars and Me Before You are recent examples - and it is impossible to find one version that laid the foundation for the rest. From Cupid and Psyche, India's Snake Bride to South Africa's 'Story of Five Heads', the partnering of beast and beauties has beguiled us for thousands of years.

In this fascinating volume preeminent fairy tale scholar Maria Tatar brings together tales from ancient times to the present and from a wide variety of cultures.

5 Fairy Tales and More
Beauty and the Beast is one of my all-time favorite fairytale. It’s a whimsical story about a book loving girl and a monstrous man.  With only a few days left before the major motion picture comes out, I’m in all Beauty and the Beast mode. Heck, I’m even considering the lipstick that the movie is promoting.

Ever wonder what the true story is? Did you know Belle had sisters and brothers? Or that the Beast isn’t actually the villain? It’s interesting to compare Jeanne-Marie Leprince Beaumount version to Disney’s. Beauty and the Beast: Classic Tales about Animal Brides and Grooms from Around the World is the story of Beauty and the Beast and other versions edited by Maria Tatar.

Beauty and the Beast is the French version and my favorite, but did you know there are other various versions of the story? One has a pig and another has a frog. Sometimes the story has the Heroine as selfish and sometimes she is kind. Sometimes the father sells his daughter for money.

The book also has other fairytales, which I enjoyed reading too, like Cinderella. It’s a fascinating book and it’s something you can read to your kids, each story is a few pages long, but they are very interesting and each has a moral to the story. Although, some are not for little kids, since some of the stories contain a few characters getting killed.

The book also has a brief overview of the origins of Beauty and the Beast.

The thing that I really enjoyed about the book is that each version I read was from a different country (from Italy to Japan) and there was a mini overview before you read each story.

If you are preparing for the movie and reading all things of Beauty and the Beast, I highly suggest you check out this book. It will keep you very informed and prepared for the movie. 

A finished copy was provided and I volunteered to review.

About the EditorMaria Tatar is the John L. Loeb Professor of Folklore and Mythology and Germanic Languages and Literatures at Harvard University. She is the author of many acclaimed books, as well as the editor and translator of The Annotated Hans Christian AndersenThe Annotated Brothers GrimmThe Classic Fairy Tales: A Norton Critical EditionThe Grimm Reader, and The Turnip Princess and Other Newly Discovered Fairy Tales. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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