Beauty and the Beast - Jan Brett
I always say I have a love/hate thing with Jan Brett. I think she's brilliant with her animal illustrations and so-so, even borderline creepy, with her people. So, with a story that is very people focused like Beauty and the Beast I was a little concerned. So, I'll cut to the chase - I was actually pleasantly surprised. I did only spend 50 cents on a used copy so it would have to be really bad to disappoint, but seriously it's nicely done. It's almost as if Jan Brett realized her weaknesses here - notice how even on the cover the human face is partially obscured. There is so much going on visually, with rich colors, meticulous details and symbolism, that the people kind of take a backseat. She's also played up her strengths - the magical enchantment has turned the palace staff into various animals - very cute! Brett's trademark, little hidden detailing, is present here and very delightful. It would take multiple readings to appreciate all of them. Definitely recommended for fans of elaborately illustrated fairy tales!