Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Beauty and the Beast

Brett, Jan (Author/Illustrator)
Penguin Random House 2011. 32 pages
First published: 1989
ISBN: 9780399257315 (hardcover)
Original language: English
Dewey: 398.2
Book type: Picture Book
Book genre: Fairy Tale

Text Elements:

character, point of view, setting, structures and features

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL Intensive & Enriched
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

This version of the classic fairy tale, in which a girl releases a handsome prince from a spell by agreeing to marry him despite his beastly looks, retains the basic elements of the original: romance, danger, mystery. Small changes include casting the servants as animals and portraying the beast as a wild boar. A timeless story, its universal themes – the power of love and the emptiness of life without substance – will not be lost on contemporary audiences.

This telling favours the slow development of the couple’s relationship and the romantic exchanges between them. A “mournful look” comes over the Beast when Beauty briefly leaves him. Later, fearing he is dead, Beauty begs him to “be strong and live so that we may be husband and wife, for I love you so.”

Intricate pastel-hued watercolour and gouache illustrations of roses, peacocks and lavish palace interiors bring the story vividly to life. Astute readers will note the subtle wall tapestries, which offer clues to the outcome of Beauty’s dilemma. Ornate, courtly fashions soften the fearsome and unappealing beast – gently hinting at his true nature.

Contrary to her selfish sisters, Beauty exemplifies a strong, courageous woman willing to sacrifice her own life for the sake of her family, making her a positive role model for readers.

  •  What are the common features of a fairy tale? Record your ideas and organize them by text structure (plot, character, setting). As you read, compare this story to your prior knowledge about fairy tales.
  •  

    How would you describe the different characters? Use textual evidence to support your ideas. Share your thinking through a graphic organizer.

  •  

    Discuss the moral of the story. Write a modern version of this traditional fairy tale, keeping the same message.

  •  

    Host a discussion panel of characters from fairy tales, including this one. Take on the role of a character and answer questions from the host and audience.

  •  

    Create a mind map with vocabulary about the elements of fairy tales. Include characters, settings, objects, etc.

  •  

    As the story is read aloud, examine and discuss the illustrations.

  •  

    Stop at the page where Beauty and the Beast are shown in silhouette, just before she returns to her family. Predict the ending.

  •  

    Draw a timeline of the story. Take note of feelings and emotions as they appear.

  •  

    Refer to your mind map. Discuss how this story is a fairy tale. Use evidence from the text to justify your thinking. (IE)

  •  Before reading, compare the typical features of a fairy tale with the traditional story of Beauty and the Beast.
  •  Pretend you are a librarian. In just a few sentences, summarize the story for someone who is thinking about borrowing the book. Discuss the message of the story.
  •  Create an advertisement or book trailer to promote this book. Use information and communications technologies (ICT) to help you. Follow the steps of the production process from the ESL program.
  • To adopt effective work methods
  • To communicate appropriately
  • To cooperate with others
  • To exercise critical judgment
  • To use creativity
  • To use information and communications technologies
  • Citizenship and Community Life
  • Health and Well-Being
  • Drama
  • Personal Development