Book Review: Beauty and the beast by An Leysen

Beauty and the Beast

  • An Leysen
  • Clavis
  • 11th October, 2017
  • Children books

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, there lived a merchant with his two daughters. The eldest daughter was spoiled and vain, and the youngest preferred to read all day. She was so pretty everyone called her -Belle-. One day, the merchant got lost in the forest and stumbled upon a castle that looked enchanted. Suddenly, he stood face-to-face with the castle’s sole inhabitant: a beast! The Beast would spare the merchant’s life on one condition: he must send one of his daughters to live in the castle. Against her father’s will, Belle went to the Beast’s castle…. The cheerful Belle and the good-natured Beast come to life in this beautiful picture book by An Leysen. For everyone who loves timeless fairy tales.

First of all I would like to praise wonderful drawings in this book. Text was also arranged the way it’s comfortable to read, yet easy to look illustrations as well. As much as I loved the illustrations, I believe it would find it hard to attract younger readers.


It was interesting to see the Beast presented somewhat like a big Billy Goat Gruff.  Also, I was shocked to find out that Belle had a sister and there were no Mrs. Pots or Chip. So I think I can tell you now that if you are after for another Disney version of Beauty and the Beast, you will be disappointed.


As early years educator, I found it hard to see the lesson of this book that children could learn. Have a dinner in the house you weren’t invited and then have a cheekiness to try to steal some flowers? Or maybe keep pestering young girl until she gives in and falls in love with you?


I doubt I would pass this book onto children for all the reasons I mentioned above.


I received a review copy for honest opinion.