Molly Coxe Bunny and the Beast

ISBN 13: 9780375804687

Bunny and the Beast

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9780375804687: Bunny and the Beast
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Renowned artist Pamela Silin-Palmer brings her stunning paintings of animals in clothes to the classic fairytale of Beauty and the Beast. The story is retold with a bunny rabbit as Beauty, and a bullterrier as the beast who is destined to become a handsome bunny prince. The text includes touches of humor to match the witty, beautiful paintings. Kids will love finding the funny froggy troubadour on each spread, who reacts melodramatically to each step of the story.

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Review:

In this retelling of Beauty and the Beast, Molly Coxe (Big Egg) casts a rabbit and a bull terrier in the starring roles, while Pamela Silin-Palmer outfits them in spectacular, lavish costumes, placing them in positively sumptuous settings. The story is familiar: a wealthy merchant falls on hard times, much to the dismay of his two snooty daughters. The third, sweet daughter makes the best of the situation, even when the hapless dad gets in a pickle, requiring young Bunny to be packed off to a beast's castle. Her pure love for the beast breaks the spell he's been under, transforming him back to his original form as a handsome rabbit prince, fortuitously enough. The magic here is in the glorious illustrations, although the quick-as-a-bunny narrative is appealing, as well. In her rich oil paintings, Silin-Palmer juxtaposes whimsical situations with a formal style inspired by "sixteenth-century painters, medieval tapestries, and the pre-Raphaelites." The long-legged Bunny gracefully leaps across the pages, flower blossoms, butterflies, and stars abundantly scattered in her path. Her Beast is hardly the terrifying monster of Coxe's description ("His eyes were angry, his teeth were sharp, and his claws were long"); but his ever-drooling tongue and aggressive stance does bring to mind the less-than-amicable traditional relationship between rabbits and dogs. Children familiar with the classic fairy tale will delight in Coxe and Silin-Palmer's remarkable version--the message of selflessness and blind love certainly remains intact. (Ages 4 to 8) --Emilie Coulter

From Publishers Weekly:

Coxe (Big Egg) and Silin-Palmer (The Nightingale and the Wind) bring humor, if not air-tight internal logic, to this full-dress retelling of a familiar tale. Here, a rabbit merchant down on his luck strikes a deal with a rose-keeping Beast. The characters' brisk repartee keeps the story moving at a pace worthy of any scurrying rabbit. For example, after the Beast asks the merchant to bring him one of his daughters, the distraught man wails, "If you must devour someone, devour me," to which the quick-witted Beast replies, "If I were merely hungry, I would have eaten you already." The language, the length of the text and the type size are most appropriate for older readers. Silin-Palmer's sprawling, elaborate paintings command attention with their elegant floral borders and bountiful details: lavish costumes, lush gardens dominated by rabbit-shaped topiary, frog courtiers. The artist's choice of a benign-looking bull terrier to play the role of Beast seems at odds with the text ("His eyes were angry, his teeth were sharp, and his claws were long," writes Coxe at the Beast's first appearance); how is this dog more "beastly" than a rabbit? Readers who don't want to look too closely at the story's workings, however, can content themselves with its pretty trappings. Ages 5-8.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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