As an adult reader I actually found myself quite enjoying this book! Don’t get me wrong it was a very quick read but then the book is aimed at children so that is to be expected.
This tale of Belle as a child really stayed true to the character that we know and love in Beauty & the Beast. Belle knows she is different from her schoolmates and longs to have something in common with them. However, her original tendencies to learning and invention always shine through: a trait the other children label as odd.
I really appreciated the small nods to the famous Disney film throughout this book: the triplets in their different colour dresses and Maurice’s familiar inventions make the reader comfortable in this provincial town and truly settle in to the story of Belle as a child.
Naturally the tale has to revolve around books and I would be disappointed if it didn’t. The transformation of Belle into “the girl who could” mirrors that of the town’s neglected bookstore and her childlike determination is inspiring.
Both the writing and the illustrations are perfect in this book. Sadly there is no mini gaston but that would have probably been too obvious and trite.
A great book for children (and big kids) alike.