Beauty and the Beast (Hardcover)

By H. Chuku Lee, Pat Cummings (Illustrator)

Amistad, 9780688148195, 32pp.

Publication Date: February 11, 2014

List Price: 17.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.


In this remarkable retelling of Beauty and the Beast, award-winning illustrator Pat Cummings creates an enchanted fairy-tale world flavored by the art, architecture, and culture of West Africa, while writer H. Chuku Lee stays true to the story of this beloved classic. With breathtaking palatial settings inspired by the Dogon tribe of Mali and dazzling costumes reminiscent of the clothing seen on Cummings's own trip to Africa, Beauty and the Beast becomes so much more than just a story—it's a visual and cultural experience.

When her father is taken prisoner by a fearsome Beast, Beauty begs the captor to take her instead. The Beast agrees, locking her away in his palace. Though he will give her whatever her heart desires—jewels, gowns, her own living quarters—she is forbidden to leave. Over time, however, Beauty sees the gentler side of the Beast, and an unexpected bond forms. But will it be strong enough to break a curse that threatens the Beast's life?

Supports the Common Core State Standards

About the Author

Pat Cummings was born in Chicago but grew up traveling with her military family all over the world. She has been writing and illustrating children's books since she graduated from Pratt Institute and is the author and/or illustrator of more than forty books. In addition to her art for the Coretta Scott King Award winner My Mama Needs Me by Mildred Pitts Walter, Pat's luminous work includes Angel Baby; Clean Your Room, Harvey Moon!; and the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award winner Talking With Artists. She teaches children’s book illustration and writing at Parsons School of Design, the New School, and Pratt Institute. She lives in Brooklyn, New York. You can visit her online at

Praise For Beauty and the Beast

“Ethnically rich retelling. Readers who attend to detail will delight.”
— Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Beauty’s appearance will draw readers of color who long for fairy tale heroines who look more like themselves...Unexpectedly powerful.”
— Publishers Weekly

“Lushly detailed paintings. The retelling is crisp, the drafting is skillful, and the compositions are dramatic.
— The Horn Book

“Beautifully executed illustrations with influences from ancient Dogon buildings of Mali. Lee’s retelling provid[es] a fresh approach that demands consideration for all collections.”
— School Library Journal