May 22, 2017

Beauty and the Beast by Mahlon F. Craft - Illustrated by Kinuko Y. Craft

Having been a longtime fan of Kinuko Y. Craft’s amazing artwork, I’m very pleased to show you her latest picture book Beauty and the Beast. Loosely based on Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont’s version published in 1756, it is adapted by Mahlon F. Craft who also designed the book. How refreshing it is to read this story without the inclusions of enchanted talking objects but rather a storyline that is closer to the originals. In this adaptation, Beauty has two older sisters who are similar to Cinderella’s wicked step-sisters. There is also a fairy that appears throughout the story.

This book took ten years in the making and has sixteen stunning illustrations painted in oil with miniature sable brushes on gesso panels. Ms. Craft's paintings are so intricate, hidden images appear the longer you look at it. There are fairies and sprites woven into each tapestry-like painting. Her style is a combination of romanticism with a hint of orientalism. The figures are draped in gowns much like 18th century fashion. The beast looks like a mix of bear and leopard. Flourished capitals begin each new page and there is a good amount of text to read here; it should take about fifteen minutes to finish. There are three double page spreads that would have been better as fold-outs. This book is so lavishly illustrated, I like it even more than her previous picture books. The illustrations here also appear in the 2017 calendar. Recommended for ages 5+.

HarperCollins 2017
Hardcover  32p /dust jacket
9.25" x 11.25"
Beauty and the Beast Illustrated by Kinuko Y. CraftBeauty and the Beast Illustrated by Kinuko Y. Craft EndingBeauty and the Beast Illustrated by Kinuko Y. Craft RefusalBeauty and the Beast Illustrated by Kinuko Y. Craft

No comments:

Post a Comment