I have a lot of old vintage books and one of my plans when I first started blogging was to do a post every week or so that shared one of my cherished vintage books. Then I thought there might be other book bloggers out there that have some vintage books, heirlooms, or maybe some old books from childhood that they might want to share. I decided to start a weekly meme titled ‘Shabby Sunday’ for those who would like to participate and share some of their old vintage books. Do you have some shabby books you’d like to share? If so, please feel free to participate as anyone can join. Feel free to use the picture I’ve provided if you’d like to. If you decide to do this meme, please consider linking back to me so that I can see the book you’re sharing.
Today’s Shabby Share is:
Beauty and the Beast
by Marianna Mayer – Illustrated by Mercer Mayer
Through her great capacity to love, a kind and beautiful maid releases a handsome prince from the spell which has made him an ugly beast.
My thoughts on this book:
I found this old children’s book on a post by Vanessa@foodinbooks.com. Be sure to check out her blog if you haven’t yet. She posts her thoughts on very interesting books and cooks up some delicious recipes as well. You’ll be so happy you found her!
I went straight to Amazon and found a used copy. Much to my delight, it looks to be a first edition from 1978 (although I’m not sure how many editions there are). The cover was in horrible condition when it arrived as it was falling to pieces. I went ahead and did some tape repair on it. I normally don’t like to do that, but this is a book I would like to have available for my children for years to come.
I found this version retold by Marianna Mayer to be fairly simliar to the original French tale. Beauty has three brothers, two other sisters, and they are living with their father, a merchant. Unfortunately there was a huge storm that resulted in the merchant losing all of his ships and cargo. They are poor and it’s unknown how they will adjust.
“We will have to work very hard from now on to manage just small necessities.”
Of course all of the children complain except for Beauty. Beauty simply doesn’t complain no matter what, in fact, it’s Beauty who ends up with most of the responsibility around the home because the others think they’re too good for work. One day, her father tells the children that he must leave because there’s been report that some of his ships were found washed up ashore. Before he leaves, he asks the children what items they would like him to bring back for them and Beauty asks for a simple rose.
While heading through the forest on his trip, the merchant comes to a beautiful palace. He decides to go inside and there he finds food and a warm shelter for the night. When he leaves the next day, he takes a rose from the garden and discovers that he made a big mistake.
“I gave you shelter and food. But you repay this by stealing from me. Prepare to die for your thievery!”
The beast informs him that he must return with one of his daughters or himself. If not, the beast will come and find him. When the merchant returns with Beauty, he begs the beast to reconsider, but Beast will not yield.
The illustrations in this book are so beautiful and I love the way it’s written. It’s simple and keeps very close to the original. We enjoyed the parts of the tale that my children found different from the Beauty and the Beast they are familiar with. Beauty is still such a brave girl, but she does have an interest in the beast right from the start and her emotions are expressed perfectly in this book.
This is one of my favorite children’s books this year! It’s definitely a keeper and we’re really happy to have it. I’d like to thank Vanessa for bringing it to my attention by sharing it on her blog.
- Hardcover: 48 pages
- Publisher: Four Winds Press; 1st Edition edition (1978)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0590074970
- ISBN-13: 978-0590074971
Thanks for checking out Shabby Sunday! Have you read this book or other Beauty and the Beast retellings? Feel free to share your thoughts or suggestions below.