Alma and the Beast written and illustrated by Esme Shapiro

  Alma and the Beast written and illustrated by Esme Shapiro, Tundra, 9780735263963 (HC), 2019

Format: Hardcover picturebook

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5

Genre:  Picture book

What did you like about the book? This imaginative take on The Beauty and the Beast also encourages embracing differences and making new friends. In a delightful twist on the expected, Alma meets a hairless button-nosed beast who is lost and needs to find her way back home through the Redheaded Woods, over the Rock-Hair Cliffs and the remaining hairy spots that Alma calls home. Once they arrive at the beast’s abode, Alma discovers that the world is very different. As she learns the way of the hairless beast, Mala, Alma begins to miss the familiar. Off she goes with a promise of friendship as Mala settles in for the night. The artwork is as stellar as the imaginative story, filled with watercolor, gouache, and colored pencils and truly worthy of revisiting again and again.

Anything you didn’t like about it? No

To whom would you recommend this book? Fans of The Beauty and the Beast as well as Where the Wild Things Are will love this story.

Who should buy this book? Elementary and public libraries

Where would you shelve it? Picture books

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles?  Yes

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Linda Broderick, Lincoln Street Elementary School, Northboro, MA

Date of review: 1/14/20

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