Most of us grew up with the Disney animated film Beauty and the Beast that was released in 1991. I originally watched a black and white French version (with English subtitles) of the movie when I was in high school. When I saw the 1991 Disney animated film version, I remember being awed by the colors and loved the music and of course the library! All of us in the library world dream of having a library like the one in that movie. Another colleague remembers watching the Disney version with her 4 year old niece, who was captivated by the story, songs and exuberant characters but was terrified of the scene with the wolves.
The story itself was was originally published in French (as La Belle et la Bête) in 1740 by French novelist Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve. Since then, authors have written countless book versions in multiple languages with illustrations for all ages.
As the release date approaches for the new live action film, you can check out some of these titles with unique versions of the story:
Beauty by Robin McKinley
Kind Beauty grows to love Beast when she is compelled to stay in his castle.
Beastly by Alex Flinn
A modern retelling of Beauty and the Beast from the perspective of the Beast and set in a Manhattan private school.
Crazy Beautiful by Lauren Baratz-Logsted
This contemporary retelling has a teenaged boy whose hands were amputated in an explosion and a gorgeous girl dealing with the death of her mother.
Beast by Donna Jo Napoli
Retells the story from the perspective of the Beast, a prince in Persia.
The Merchant’s Daughter by Melanie Dickerson
Set in 1352 England, Annabel falls in love with a ferocious and disfigured man.
Beauty and the Clockwork Beast by Nancy Campbell Allen
This steampunk murder mystery tale has Lucy Pickett visiting Blackwell Manor where she stumbles upon werewolves and ghosts.
Cruel Beauty by Rosamond Hodge
Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom and coached by her family to kill him when they marry, but everything is not as she expected when she meets her betrothed.
Of Beast and Beauty by Stacey Jay: Monstrous Gem becomes the prisoner of the Smooth Skin queen, Isra.
Beauty by Susan Wilson
Alix Miller travels to New Hampshire to paint a novelist only to find a man hideously deformed by a rare genetic disease.
Roses by G. R. Mannering
A darker retelling of Beauty and the Beast, this book tells of Beauty who flees during a magic purge and encounters the beast.
After the Kiss by Joan Johnston
For more traditional romance readers, Elizabeth refuses to abide by the rules of proper society when she becomes a governess for the “Beast of Blackthorne.”
As Old as Time by Liz Braswell
This alternate take on the story focuses on Belle’s mother who cursed the Beast so many years ago.
Let us know what's your favorite Beauty and the Beast story.
Laurie C., HPL Librarian