cover image The Sleeping Beauty

The Sleeping Beauty

Jean Richardson. Arcade Publishing, $14.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-1-55970-142-6

This is a lively and lovely--and suitably child-oriented--version of the well-known story of the disgruntled fairy who, left off the christening guest list, ``was determined to put a curse on the little Princess.'' In time, Aurora pricks her finger on a spinning wheel, and she and the rest of the kingdom are fated to wait for a prince's kiss to rouse them from their slumber. At the end of Richardson's tony retelling, the characters are joined by an assortment of old friends from children's classics. In this theatrical looking book, major figures are attractively positioned at center stage against murky backgrounds. Rendered in beguiling hues of pink, mauve and purple, Crespi's ( The Magic Flute ; The Nutcracker ) fanciful paintings depict round-faced angelic characters in elaborate apparel--contrasting dramatically with the wicked, hook-nosed Carabosse, ``clearly in a mood as black as the fearsome rats who drew her dusky chariot.'' Ages 3-6. (Oct.)