Friday, March 4, 2011

Beauty and the Beast by Marianna Mayer and Mercer Mayer

Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Beast by Marianna Mayer and illustrated by Mercer Mayer is one of my favorite picture books of Beauty and the Beast. It is out of print, alas, but I happily own a treasured copy. I wanted to share it today since this is the release day for Beastly in theatres, reason enough to focus on Beauty and the Beast. More about that in a bit (a later post, that is), but for now I am focused on this month's daily picture book post for Youth Art Month.

When I went hunting for images from the book to share, I discovered a lovely blog, NouvelleGamine, which discusses illustrations. The blogger, Betty Jordan Wester, wrote a post about Mayer's Beauty and the Beast illustrations last year. I am borrowing her images for this post, but click through to read her comments which are insightful. Mayer's fortune has been made by his Little Critter series but once upon a time he illustrated some gorgeous traditional fairy tales with a definite homage to Arthur Rackham and other Golden Age illustrators. I love the lit from within effect, rather like a stained glass window. Oh, now I am imagining a castle with fairy tale stained glass windows. Pitter patter goes my heart...

Here are some wonderful images:

My hope is that someday this book will be reprinted. It's too beautiful not to be.


  1. If I remember correctly, this book may have been my first introduction to Beauty and the Beast in literary format; if it wasn't I know it was one of the earliest. I love these illustrations.

  2. thank you for mentioning my blog :) i've been a fan of sur la lune for years. i didn't know mayer's "beauty & the beast" was out of print. so many of the books i loved as a child are no longer readily available.

  3. This was my first introduction to Beauty and the Beast. So sad that it is no longer in print. A real gem!