The Scarlet Flower: A Russian Folk Tale

S. T. Aksakov, Author, Boris Diodorov, Illustrator Houghton Mifflin Harcourt P $13.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-15-270487-2
This handsome storybook based on the familiar legend of Beauty and the Beast takes its text from a Russian folk version of the tale. It offers a full but overly long account that is especially cumbersome for reading aloud. The book's strength lies in its illustrations, with a wealth of detail, pattern and color suiting the opulence of the Beast's palace and the lushness of his grounds; readers may wish that some of the text had been condensed or sacrificed to make room for more of the lavish full-page scenes. The monster of the story is appealing in the way of Sendak's Wild Things: a hairy, wild figure, the Beast (and his assorted creatures) displays hints of almost mischievous glee rather than offering unmitigated ferocity--a crucial element in the book's charm. Ages 4-8. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1989
Release date: 01/01/1989
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