Parents' Guide to

Beauty and the Beast: Lost in a Book

By Joly Herman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 11+

Belle gets lured into book in dark but enchanting spin-off.

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Well-crafted and enchanting, this Disney confection offers a fascinating escape with some spooky twists. Lost in a Book lets fans of the Beauty and the Beast movies delve further into Belle's magical world. This book-within-a-book reads a lot like a Disney movie feels, with its descriptive fantasy world patterned in colorful prose. The well-read observer (bookworm alert!) will recognize the Shakespeare quotes with as much glee as Belle recites them. Someone new to Shakespeare, Spenser, and various Greek myths, might be encouraged to seek out these literary gems, if only to get closer to Belle, who is so bookish and smart that she takes on more depth in this depiction.

As book-smart as she is, Belle has difficulty dealing with the Beast's tantrums. She stands up to him and encourages him to laugh at himself, but is this cycle of bad behavior and reconciliation a healthy one? Lessons of compassion and courage are one thing, but getting into a relationship with someone who lashes out and can't take responsibility for unacceptable behavior is another. This book's weakness is the Beast's weakness; it's not sure how to solve the tantrum issue. But it does offer a lovely escape, which is exactly the point.

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