Reviews for Bunny and the Beast
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2001 Fall
Except for the fact that Beauty is a rabbit and Beast is a bull terrier--details that don't really affect the story much--this picture book is a fairly traditional version of the well-known tale. Silin-Palmer's romantic illustrations fill the pages with a riot of flowers and luxurious patterns, which make Bunny's humble cottage seem just as opulent as the Beast's ornate castle. Copyright 2001 Horn Book Guide Reviews
Kirkus Reviews 2001 January #2
A recasting of Beauty and the Beast where the characters are rabbits--and the Beast is a very large dog. The story line is fairly traditional, even to the reasons Beauty--here, Bunny--and her family must move to the country (her father loses and then regains his merchant fleet), and the telling is a bit on the twee side. What is astonishing here are the pictures, voluptuously illustrated like Arcimboldo, Fantin-Latour, and Fragonard rolled into one. The pages are covered in perfectly painted flowers and adornments of every description, gardens, interiors, and hearthsides. Bunny herself and all the other characters are bedizened with silks, velvets, and ornament, and little frog-elves in courtly dress appear to comment by their presence on the action. The emphasis is silly rather than serious, and it is immensely satisfying to peer at the pages to pick out the odd butterfly, bunch of grapes, or other sumptuous element. The doggy Beast does indeed become a rabbit prince, and a tailpiece shows one of the frogsreading the tale to a passel of bunny babies. Of course. (Picture book. 6-9) Copyright Kirkus 2001 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved
Publishers Weekly Reviews 2001 January #2
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. (Feb.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal Reviews 2001 May
K-Gr 3-A well-written retelling of a French fairy tale starring a family of white rabbits with a bull terrier as the Beast, all clothed in stunning period costumes. The illustrations rise to the finest fairy-tale tradition of lavishness and opulence. The text is printed on paper that looks like parchment and is surrounded by bouquets or other elaborate borders. Painted in luscious, velvety hues, the double-page spreads shine with lifelike flowers, fine garments, and imperial architecture. From the twinkling of fairies to cloaks caught in flight to the rushing of a creek, each page vibrates with the exuberance of movement. Older children will enjoy reading the story and poring over the myriad details in the artwork. The tale also reads aloud well. Marianna Mayer's Beauty and the Beast (Aladdin, 1987) offers a more traditional retelling and has stunning human images. Laurence Yep's The Dragon Prince: A Chinese Beauty and the Beast Tale (HarperCollins, 1997) offers a unique version of this classic story.-Linda M. Kenton, San Rafael Public Library, CA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.