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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: beauty and the beast, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 31
1. May 9 in LA: ‘Beauty and the Beast’ in 70mm With Cast and Crew Discussion

This 25th anniversary screening is sold out, but we've got a tip on how you can attend this special event.

The post May 9 in LA: ‘Beauty and the Beast’ in 70mm With Cast and Crew Discussion appeared first on Cartoon Brew.

0 Comments on May 9 in LA: ‘Beauty and the Beast’ in 70mm With Cast and Crew Discussion as of 4/29/2016 6:03:00 PM
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2. February- The Uses of Enchantment...books, kids, movies, and dogs

     BelarusAlexandraSoldatova    
The photograph of a Belarus bus stop is by Alexandra Soldatova


Enchantment takes many forms in wonder tales.

Metamorphosis and transformation are part of life.

In an instant, a girl, a boy, or even a powerful a prince may be transformed into a swan, a frog, a fox, a bird or a bear.  

And then, there is the beast...  

Beauty and the Beast
 
BeautyBeastAngelaBarrett3For a young woman to confront a beast is an experience of fear beyond words. In a time when dark spirits, witches and the devil himself acted on humans, both powerful kings and lowly peasants were vulnerable to transformation. Beauty and the Beast, is a rather incredible tale about a prince turned into a beast. And he will remain a beast until he marries. It will take an extraordinary woman to overcome her fear and revulsion and offer herself in marriage to the Beast...
 
Beauty and the Beast is an incredible story and a fascinating read. This story of fearful enchantment is not, however, for young children.
 
It was originally written in 1740 as a book, La Belle et La Bete, by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve.  
 
The version rewritten in 1757 by Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont, and published in a magazine for proper young women, is the most widely known version today. It is much shorter than the original, and was especially relevant for its readers in its exploration of love and inner beauty.The story has inspired countless books, plays, and films. 
 
 
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Love, Fidelity, and Civilité
 
The following excerpt, by Terri Windling, taken from her Journal of Mythic Arts, provides insights into the relevance of Beauty and the Beast to the real life experiences of women. In her fascinating article, Windling also provides in-depth analysis and history of this classic fairy tale as well as the many variations inspired by the original.
 
The Journal of Mythic Arts, "(JoMA) is sponsored by The Endicott Studio , a nonprofit organization dedicated to literary, visual, and performance arts inspired by myth, folklore, fairy tales, and the oral storytelling tradition." 

BeautyAnd TheBeastangelaBarrett2"De Villeneuve was part of the "second wave" of French fairy tale writers (Madame D'Aulnoy, Charles Perrault, and other salon fairy tale writers comprising the "first wave" fifty years earlier). When she sat down to create Beauty and the Beast (a novella–length tale first published in La jeune ameriquaine, et les contes marins), she was influenced by the work of "first wave" writers, by the story of "Cupid and Psyche" in Apuleius' Golden Ass, and by the various Animal Bridegroom legends of folklore. The story she came up with was uniquely her own, however, and addressed issues of concern to women of her day. Chief among these was a critique of a marriage system in which women had few legal rights — no right to chose their own husband, no right to refuse the marriage bed, no right to control their own property, and no right of divorce. Often the brides were fourteen or fifteen years old, given to men who were decades older. Unsatisfactory wives risked being locked up in mental institutions or distant convents. Women fairy tale writers of the 17th & 18th centuries were often sharply critical of such practices, promoting the ideas of love, fidelity, and civilité between the sexes. Their tales reflected the realities they lived with, and their dreams of a better way of life. Their Animal Bridegroom stories, in particularly, embodied the real–life fears of women who could be promised to total strangers in marriage, and who did not know if they'd find a beast or a lover in their marriage bed."

The two illustrations, above, of Beauty and the Beast are by Angela Barrett. 
.................
 
Conversations with the Beast

Dinner in the Castle



BeautyBeastWalterCrane1"Go ahead and eat, Beauty",  said the monster,"And try not to get bored in this house, for everything here is yours, and I would be distressed if you were to become unhappy."
 
"You are very kind", said Beauty. "I swear to you that I am completely pleased with your tender heart. When I think of it, you no longer seem ugly to me."
 
"Oh, of course," Beast replied. "I have a tender heart, but I am still a monster."
 
"There are certainly many men more monstrous than you," said Beauty. " I like you better, even with your looks, than men who hide false, corrupt, and ungrateful hearts behind charming manners."
 
Metamorphosis
 
"Beast opened his eyes and said to beauty...'the thought of having lost you made me decide to starve myself to death. Now I will die happy for I have the pleasure of seeing you one last time.'  

BeautyAnd TheBeast MercerMayer'No, dear Beast, you will not die,' said Beauty. 'You will live and become my husband. From this moment on, I give you my hand in marriage, and I swear that I will belong only to you. Alas, I thought that I felt only friendship for you, but the anguish I am feeling makes me realize that I can't live without you.'
 
Scarcely had Beauty uttered these words when the castle became radiant with light...She turned back to look at her dear Beast, whose perilous condition made her tremble with fear. You can imagine her surprise when she discovered that Beast had disappeared and that a young prince, more handsome than the day was bright, was lying at her feet, thanking her for having broken the magic spell cast on him." 
 
The above excerpts by Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont, are taken from  Annotated Classic Fairy Tales by Maria Tatar 
 
An annotated anthology of Beauty and the Beast stories is currently being edited by Marie Tatar 
 
The illustrations are by Walter Crane (top) and Mercer Mayer (bottom).
 
 .................
 
An Ancient Story
 
More validation regarding the ancient origin of wonder tales, including Beauty and the Beast...
 
IrelandNewgrangsSara Graça da Silva, New University, Lisbon; and Jamshid J. Tehrani, Durham University; have published a new study exploring the origins of folktales in the Royal Society Open Science Journal.This is a new open journal publishing high-quality original research across the entire range of science on the basis of objective peer-review."The researchers for this study utilized innovative methodology and computer applications.Here is an excerpt:
 
 
_NewgrangeSoneCircleMoonlight..."For example, two of the best known fairy tales, ATU 425C Beauty and the Beast’ and ATU 500 ‘The Name of the Supernatural Helper’ Rumplestiltskin’) were first written down in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries [43]. While some researchers claim that both storylines have antecedents in Greek and Roman mythology [44,45], our reconstructions suggest that they originated significantly earlier. Both tales can be securely traced back to the emergence of the major western Indo-European subfamilies as distinct lineages between 2500 and 6000 years ago [2,3], and may have even been present in the last common ancestor of Western Indo-European languages (figure 4).
 
The photos are from Newgrange, a neolithic monument built 5,000 years ago in Boyne Valley, County Meath, Ireland.
 
Thanks to Heidi Anne Heiner and Sur La Lune where I first read about this study.
................................
 
Fairy Tales and the Civilizing Process
 
OrigFolkFairyTalesGrimmAndrea.3"At their best, the storytelling of fairy tales constitute the most profound articulation of the human struggle to form and maintain a civilizing process. They depict metaphorically the opportunities for human adaptation to our environment and reflect the conflicts that arise when we fail to establish civilizing codes commensurate with the self-interests of large groups within the human population. The more we give into base instincts – base in the sense of basic and depraved – the more criminal and destructive we become. The more we learn to relate to other groups of people and realize that their survival and the fulfillment of their interests is related to ours, the more we might construct social codes that guarantee humane relationships. -- Jack Zipes on The Art Of Storytelling Show
 
 
The Frog Queen illustration, by Andrea Dezso, is from Jack Zipe's book, The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm. 
 .................
 
 “If one is lucky, a solitary fantasy can totally transform a million realities.” 
― Maya AngelouPoems 
 ...................

WRADProjectPearlPartner
 
 
LitworldWRAD16logo-webWorld Read Aloud Day is February 24, 2016
 
 LitWorld empowers children worldwide through reading and the power of story.
 
World Read Aloud Day continues to grow and is now celebrated by over one million people world- wide.The following is from the LitWorld website...
 
 "World Read Aloud Day motivates children, teens, and adults worldwide to celebrate the power of words and creates a community of readers taking action to show the world that the right to literacy belongs to all people. World Read Aloud Day is celebrated by millions of people in more than 100 countries thanks to people like you who participate and spread the word across the globe!"
 
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2 Doghead 1.457 by 1.573 inchesPlanet Of The Dogs POD-Daisy&Bean-blog size
 

The Planet Of The Dogs  takes place long, ago. There were no dogs on planet earth. Invaders and outlaw tribes were an ongoing threat to farms, villages and towns where ordinary people lived.

Dogs came down to Green Valley from their own peaceful planet to help people. Using their courage, intelligence and their great love of humans, the dogs were able to help good people in myriad ways: rescuing lost children; bringing comfort and healing to the old and the lonely; guarding homes and farm; and finally, overcoming the invading warrior tribes and bringing peace to the land...

Reviewer Wayne Walker in Stories for Children Magazine:..." Author Robert J. McCarty has created a charming fantasy-allegory that can be read and understood on at least two different levels. Children will enjoy the story about dogs that come from another planet to help people on earth. But under the surface are the important messages of friendship, love, loyalty, and overcoming evil with good..."

 Read Sample Chapters of the Planet Of The Dogs series.

The illustrations from Snow Valley Heroes and Planet Of The Dogs are by Stella Mustanoja-McCarty
 
................... 
 

Action and Compassion...An exciting video posted on Facebook by the Logical Indian...a dog, carried along turbulent waters, is rescued... for compassionate people and for all dog lovers...a dog rescue video

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Beauty and the Beast and Disney
 
BBeastEmmaWatsonPosterDisney is producing a new live action, 3-D, musical film version of Beauty and the Beast for release in March 2017.
Emma Watson
plays beauty. From the trailer, it looks like there are lots of special effects and plot additions. Music from the Disney hit Broadway musical version will be included. The Broadway version was written by Linda Woolverton, the writer also responsible for the very engaging, Maleficent . However, she is not the writer of this 2017 movie version.
 
We can only hope that Beauty's fearful journey of transition will not become a sugar coated, overwrought romance.
 
Here is the link to the trailer of the version that will open in 2017 .
 
 
Disney's 1991 animated film of Beauty and the Beast
 
I haven't seen this version. Therefore, I have posted excerpts from two recognized authorities.
 
Excerpts from two divergent opinions: One, by the respected Terri Windling, author of highly regarded children's BBeast1991Posterbooks and recognized as an expert on children's literature (Myth and Moor blog, the JOMA archives...Nonetheless, I found myself disturbed by the film — by the broad liberties the Disney Studio took in changing classic elements of the tale. This leads to the question of where precisely should one draw the line between use and abuse of fairy tales in creating art for modern audiences. It is a question that particularly concerns those of us interested in myth, folklore, fairy tales, and the ways they are used in contemporary arts.
 
Here is a divergent opinion by respected film critic, the late Roger Ebert,...  "The film is as good as any Disney animated feature ever made - as magical as “Pinocchio,” “Snow White,” “The Little Mermaid.” And it's a reminder that animation is the ideal medium for fantasy, because all of its fears and dreams can be made literal. No Gothic castle in the history of horror films, for example, has ever approached the awesome, frightening towers of the castle where the Beast lives..".
 
Disney Power, Enchantment and Myopia
 
DisneyCinderellaFor many years, Jack Zipes has written about, and documented, Disney's usurpation and corruption of fairy tales. Here is an excerpt...
 
"Our contemporary concept and image of a fairy tale have been shaped and standardized by Disney so efficiently through the mechanism of the culture industry that our notions of happiness and utopia are and continue to be filtered through a Disney lens even if it is myopic...myopic has continued to dominate both reality and utopia."
 
 
 
Jack Zipes, The Enchanted Screen, The Unknown History of Fairy Tale Films (2011); Zipes has co-edited with Pauline Cahill and Kendra Magnus-Johnston a new book, Fairy-Tale Films Beyond Disney, International Perspectives. 
 
 ......................................
 
 

RoomToReadSriLankaRoom to Read...bringing books to disadvantaged children

Over 9.7 million books were checked out from Room To Read Libraries in 2012. Here are excerpts from their website describing some of the outstanding work they accomplish worldwide:

"We envision a world in which all children can pursue a quality education, reach their full potential and contribute to their community and the world.

To achieve this goal, we focus on two areas where we believe we can have the greatest impact: literacy and gender equality in education.

  We work in collaboration with communities and local governments across Asia and Africa to develop literacy skills and a habit of reading among primary school children, and support girls to complete secondary school with the life skills they’ll need to succeed in school and beyond."

Here is a link to the Room to Read Literacy Program

RomReadCambodiaGirls' Education

"Our Girls’ Education Program ensures that girls complete secondary school and have the skills to negotiate key life decisions. Our program reinforces girls’ commitment to their own education, works with girls to develop essential life skills and increases support for girls’ education among their parents, school staff, and communities."

Here is a link to the Room to Read website

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 The Dogs of Circling the Waggins Live Here

SnowCabin ArielThis is the home of author, blogger and animal advocate, CA Wulff. This is where she lives with her rescued dogs, writes her books, and helps people and dogs. She recently wrote on her blog, Up On The Woof, about her rescue work through the Community page, Lost & Found Ohio Pets on Facebook. The number of lost dogs, abandoned dogs, and rescued dogs is staggering.

Wulff has written two outstanding, practical, How-To books for dog (and animal) owners -- and for caring people who want to make a difference.


FindingFidoFinding Fido: Practical Steps for Finding Your Lost Pet 

Here is an Amazon Review:

"Would you know what to do if you found a stray pet? You might think that calling animal control would be the best thing for the animal - but you'd be wrong. Lots of food for thought in this book, including what to do if you find a stray pet, how to keep from losing a pet, and what to do if your pet is lost. The authors are donating all of the proceeds to ARME's Beagle Freedom Project, a group that rescues dogs used in laboratories."

 


CoverHTCWorld30secondsHow To Change the World in 30 Seconds: A Web Warriors Guide to Animal Advocacy 
Online

Here is an Amazon Review:

"This book not only offers a starting point for animal rescue but serves as a comprehensive resource book for animal rights advocates. C.A. Wulff has done the urgent heavy lifting here so that the heart and the hands of the rescuer doesn't have to be burdened or bound with the anxieties of not knowing where to begin...I whole heartedly recommend this book as a necessary tool to bring about change in the world."

Here is a link to Circling the Waggins...a memoir of the canine connection in real life.

........................................

One of the reasons for JK Rowling's success was that she didn't give a fig for what people thought they wanted. They didn't know they wanted Harry Potter till she wrote about him. That's the proper way round.

Phillip Pullman

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Beauty and the Beast -- Variations in Books, Film,Theater and Song
 
BroadwayPosterBBeastThe variations on Beauty and the Beast are endless. Countless books, toys and games, Film andTV productions, CD and DVD offerings...and much of it is owned or licensed by Disney. This is, indeed, a manifestation of the culture industry.  

Disney's Broadway musical version, according to Wikipedia,
"ran on Broadway for 5,461 performances between 1994 and 2007, becoming Broadway's ninth longest production in history...The musical has grossed more than $1.4 billion worldwide and played in thirteen countries and 115 cities."
 
Here is an excerpt from David Richard's review in the New York Times: "It is hardly a triumph of art, but it'll probably be a whale of a tourist attraction. It is Las Vegas without the sex, Mardi Gras without the booze...You don't watch it, you gape at it, knowing that nothing in Dubuque comes close."
 
Cocteau's Beauty and the Beast
 
BBeastCocteauBefore there were any Disney versions, Jean Cocteau, French author, designer, artist, playwright, and film maker created a film, La Belle et La Bete (1945). It was based on the version by Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont. Filmed in black and white, it was highly stylized and elegant.
 
The film was very well received by the critics -- Roger Ebert added it to his list of the Best 25 Films. Bosley Crowther, in the New York Times , 'called the film a "priceless fabric of subtle images,...a fabric of gorgeous visual metaphors, of undulating movements and rhythmic pace, of hypnotic sounds and music, of casually congealing ideas." '(Wikipedia)

The Cocteau film also directly inspired, among several other versions, an opera by Phillip Glass, a Fairie Tale theater with Susan Sarandon and Klaus Kinski, and an original song by Stevie Nicks.

Here is a link to the song, Beauty and the Beast, sung by Stevie Nicks

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NEADSlogo

“[I] went from fighting on the battlefield, to laying in a bed and having people take care of [me], back to being independent and doing everything on [my] own…”

 Chris Strickland, Age 22, Corporal, U.S. Army, regarding his Service Dog, Ruthie.

 

Mission and Services

"NEADS/Dogs for Deaf and Disabled Americans provide independence to people who are Deaf or have a disability through the use of canine assistance.

NEADSChildNanDog

NEADS (National Education for Assistance Dog Services, also known as Dogs for Deaf and Disabled Americans), is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that was established in 1976. Our Assistance Dogs become an extension of their handlers and bring freedom, physical autonomy and relief from social isolation to their human partners.Service dogs are provided free to veterans.

The Human Canine Bond- NEADS has trained over 1,500 Assistance Dog teams since 1976. NEADS is accredited by Assistance Dogs International, the internationally recognized governing body that establishes industry standards and practices. NEADS offers a wide spectrum of Assistance Dog services"

Visit their website: NEADS

 ...................................

 “When I was a child, adults would tell me not to make things up, warning me of what would happen if I did. As far as I can tell so far, it seems to involve lots of foreign travel and not having to get up too early in the morning.”
Neil Gaiman, Smoke and Mirrors

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The World and Its Wonders

Maria Tatar, in her wonderful book, Enchanted Hunters, describes how reading ignites a child's mind and transports them to worlds of imagination and wonder. In this excerpt from the chapter entitled Theaters for
the Imagination,
she discusses how fairy tales -- wonder tales -- opened the doors to new worlds:

Readersmain_school7"The deep, almost visceral connection between childhood and wonder had what was once perceived to be a dark side. The child's innate curiosity about the world and its wonders was repeatedly demonized and linked with the evils of idle hands...The rise of the fairy tale created a tectonic shift in children's literature and revealed that something had been long off kilter. Fairy tales -- sometimes referred to as "wonder tales" because they traffic in magic -- opened the door to new theaters of action, with casts of characters very different from the scolding schoolmarm, the aggravated bailiff, or the dis approving cleric found in manuals for moral and spiritual improvement. Books were suddenly invaded by fabulous monsters -- bloodthirsty giants, red-eyed witches, savage bluebeards, and sinister child snatchers -- and they produced a giddy sense of disorientation that roused the curiosity of the child reader."

Maria Tatar, Enchanted Hunters, the Power of Stories in Childhood.

.........................................

 
 
MaryBaloghauthor
 
A Message for the Family
This is a message from Churchhill Falls Public Library in Newfoundland, Canada...
Posted  by author Mary Balogh on her FB page.
 
 
 
 
 
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   LookingGlassPanorama

Movies 2016

Alice returns May 27 in Tim Burton's Through the Looking Glass (Disney)...Much the same wonderful cast...Here is the delightful trailer 

Inside Out 2, A Pixar film that has a humorous, Judy Blume approach to the mind of a young teenage girl...Inside Out was a multiple award winner...here is the trailer link: Inside Out 2   

The Angry Birds Movie (Sony)...Inspired by the  computer game...Opens in May...Here is the trailer for The Angry Birds Movie 

The Jungle Book (Disney)...in 3D and Imax 3D...Opens April 15...Here is the fast action trailer for The Jungle Book

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (Warners)...written by JK Rowling...a return to the world of wizardry...Opens Nov 18...set in the USA in 1926...here is the announcement trailer

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GoodnightMoonElegant and Deep 

"If I am a scholar, I am also a parent. To read to a child is to experience not just the pleasures of instruction or the warmth of entertainment, but the immense importance of quite simply reading...Even the most ordinary prose becomes mag

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3. MoMA to Present an Evening with Glen Keane

Historian and filmmaker John Canemaker will host the conversation with the master character animator.

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4. Unseen Footage From Disney’s First Attempt at ‘Beauty and the Beast’

Never-before-released home videos provide a glimpse of the early concept art and showreel for the Disney classic.

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5. Will Finn: “Don’t Go Looking for a Job in Animation”

An animator who learned the hard way offers some sagely advice.

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6. From ‘Bambi’ to ‘The Lion King,’ Disney Legend Mel Shaw Lassos a Retrospective

Check out our image gallery of Mel Shaw artwork, which will soon be on display at the Walt Disney Family Museum.

The post From ‘Bambi’ to ‘The Lion King,’ Disney Legend Mel Shaw Lassos a Retrospective appeared first on Cartoon Brew.

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7. Ypulse Essentials: Facebook’s Open Graph In Action, Another ‘Beauty And The Beast’ Reboot, HootSuite University

Here’s a roundup of some of the best ways that brands are using Facebook’s new Open Graph (to encourage their fans to share their brand interactions on the site. We’re big fans of Ticketmaster’s mashup with Spotify’s... Read the rest of this post

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8. The Blog Is BACK!!!

It’s finally time to resurrect my blog from its long hiatus!  I’ve actually missed being on Walking In Public… digging up blog content has always kept me engaged with the publishing/art/design industries, and it motivates me to write and draw regularly.  So, I’ll be back on the blog for a long while, with all-new features and updates on my journey to success in the children’s book world!

What have you missed while I’ve been away from the blog? Here are the best things that happened, circa 2011:

Annie’s Top 5 2011 Professional Developments

1. Illustrated and designed the Little Farmer app.

You may remember that I began a project working on a toddler game app, called Little Farmer, back in May.  Well, after months of illustrating, designing and developing, we released it for sale in the iTunes store in October!  It has been a really wonderful experience working with a talented developer, Anita Hirth, to create artwork that children can interact with, right there on any iPhone.  There’s much more to say about the process of creating an app, and my future in the digital world… but those are subjects for bigger posts!

In the meantime, purchase the app here, or watch the video trailer, above!

2. Joined the Children’s Book Council’s Early Career Committee.

I’ve been attending events for young adults in the publishing industry for awhile, so it was exciting to be asked to represent Penguin Young Readers (and designers everywhere) on the Children’s Book Council’s Early Career Committee.  This organization creates opportunities for those in the first 5 years of the children’s book industry to network, learn, and become more involved in their fields… so their mission is right up my alley!  Since becoming a part of the team this summer, I’ve had a TON of fun making great friends with 20-somethings in different houses, through planning creative programming.  I’m also having a blast designing fliers, making good use of my design time and talents.

If you haven’t already, make sure to catch up on the CBC and ECC’s fabulous social media enterprises – Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest!

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9. 2012 Fairytale Project: Beauty and the Beast sketches



Monday Greetings!  For April's fairytale illustration I decided to use June's suggestion of Beauty and the Beast

I've had a hard time getting started on this one as I'm not in the habit of drawing beastly characters and I couldn't get the Disney version out of my mind.  But after coming across this illustration by Edmund Dulac, I started to feel free to experiment.  It's fun to be drawing a character that's so different from my usual fare and I'm excited to try a new way of working for the final illustration.  I wonder what will happen.

Also, remember the bat boy photo that was in the tabloids years ago?  I think I must have inadvertently been channeling that when I drew the sketch on the lower left.  Creepy.    

1 Comments on 2012 Fairytale Project: Beauty and the Beast sketches, last added: 4/24/2012
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10. Ladies and gentlemen . . . the amazing Pat Cummings!

DSCN0088When I was in graduate school at SVA, I was able to choose an advisor during my thesis year. My choice was Pat Cummings. I asked Pat because I had been reading her books and admiring her art since “Just Us Women” appeared on Reading Rainbow in 1984. I went on to fall in love with C.L.O.U.D.S. and fueled my passion for breaking into the field with her “Talking with Artists” series. Not only has Pat been a great role model through her work and life, she has also been an amazing mentor and friend. I sent a few questions her way to host our conversation here on Living the Dream. Initially I hoped to do a video chat and post it to my Youtube channel, so in lieu of that live conversation, I will insert a few footnotes here and there, à la Junot Dìaz. Without further ado, Pat Cummings.

Pat, you have been illustrating books for over 30 years now. My first memory of your work was in the Reading Rainbow Book, Just Us Women. You were one of the only people of color on my radar who made books about children of color that were more whimsical and didn’t solely focus on history. Can you talk to me a bit about how you entered publishing and the motivation behind the books that you have created? 

I had been to see a bunch of publishers, not realizing that seeing one editor at a publishing house did not mean you’d really covered the whole house.  So it had been hit and miss.  There was a newsletter back then (this was the early/mid seventies) published by The Council on Interracial Books for Children.  They highlighted an illustrator or photographer on their back page.  When they ran my work, an editor at one of the publishing houses I thought I had covered called me and said she had a book for me. I had NO idea how to start but I didn’t want to let on that I was clueless.  So I did what seemed reasonable.  I knew someone who knew someone who knew someone who had once dated Tom Feelings.  So I called him up, explained my situation and he took the time to walk me through how he put a book together.  He was working on The Middle Passage.  It was 1975.  That book came out in 1995.  He was my hero when it came to deadlines.1  (Be kind, Shadra.)


Screen Shot 2014-06-04 at 8.36.02 AM

Has there been any time in your career where you wanted to stop writing and illustrating books? If so, what kept you going?
Nope.  There have been times I wanted to stop drawing and just write. But not permanently. I just wanted a change of pace.  There are too many stories I’d like to get to so I can’t imagine NOT wanting to tell them.

You work closely with SCBWI, The Highlights Foundation, and The Author’s Guild. How does this work inform your book making?
I was actually someone who was anti-groups when I was in college.  It took me a while to realize that others had invented the wheel already.  When I had thanked Tom Feelings profusely for helping me, Tom said, ‘Just help someone else when you can.’  I took that to heart.  I joined the Graphic Artists Guild and later, SCBWI.  I found that anytime I shared something I had learned about the business, I invariably learned more.  Every organization I work with, The Authors Guild, SCBWI, The Eric Carle Museum, Highlights, The Ezra Jack Keats Foundation…all of these groups…are immersed in the children’s book business in different ways.  So I’ve learned a lot about business, about the craft of making books and I get to constantly see the new work that is coming from puppies like yourself. (Please, Louise puts you about one book away from graduating from Puppy status).

You just published a gorgeous version of “Beauty and the Beast” written by your husband, Chuku Lee. I first met Chuku in C.L.O.U.D.S., how was it working with him as a model to working with him as an author?


Why, thank you ma’am for the kind words.  You know how long that book took to finish.  Chuku used to be a magazine editor when I met him and he was doing cover interviews with folks like Muhammad Ali and Andrew Young. Aside from being a writer and editor, he had served in the Foreign Service as a junior office in Paris. So, when I found an original French version of Beauty and the Beast I wanted him to translate it and do the retelling. He wrote up the story and sent it in to our editor, Barbara Lalicki at HarperCollins. I warned him that the way it worked in publishing, he would have to crawl across hell over broken glass to get to a final version because editors were very exacting. But Barbara only asked for one minor change and then said, “It’s great.”  I think the years of journalism paid off.  Writing lean, mean text is the way to go these days and his retelling was elegant and lyrical.  He has no idea how unusual his experience was.

As a model, he’s learned to be very patient and accommodating.  I’ve had him standing on furniture at 3am so I can get an angled shot. As the author of the book he was a cheerleader and kept me motivated when I thought I’d never finish.2  Because this wasn’t his usual endeavor, he didn’t seem to feel any pressure about seeing the book finished.  So he never mentioned that I was taking decades to get it done.

Can you talk a bit about the setting of the book? Why Africa and more specifically, Why Mali culture?
I’ve been fascinated by the Dogon for some time.  Their masks and traditional costumes are graphic and richly colored.  But, beyond any specific tribe, I’m attracted to the imagery of a host of cultures and West Africa was an ideal inspiration.  I remember seeing the opening scene of Coming to America with Eddie Murphy. 3 A mythic African kingdom is depicted, very opulent and very Hollywood and I loved the idea of combining African imagery with a fairy tale theme.  When I looked at the architecture of the Dogon, it held elements that I thought would be fitting for a castle where the Prince turned Beast might live.  Along with the African inspiration though, I wanted to capture some of the mystery in the Jean Cocteau film version of Beauty and the Beast.  I wanted to capture some of the magic in that film, with the watching faces in the architecture and waiting hands that provided whatever Beauty needed.

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As a professor, you have mentored many successful illustrators, from David Ezra Stein, to Julian Hector, and myself, to name a few. You also take on a teaching role with SCBWI. How important is the work you do in the classroom? Do you consider teaching as much a part of your legacy as storytelling and being an artist?

You’re a teacher so you must know how satisfying it is to be able to help others bring their stories to fruition.  I think some people are genetically encoded to teach others and I recognize that in you. 4 When I told Tom that I would help others, I think I meant it sort of metaphorically.  But I found it so satisfying to see projects come together and to see people start their careers that it truly became a large part of what I do now.  I LOVE storytelling and I love just about every aspect of this business.  So, when I see others who have the same passion for it, it’s pretty easy to encourage and help them connect to publishers.  I feel proud of the folks I’ve worked with who have gone on to create wonderful books.  But I can only advise.  Their successes are all based on their unique talents.

With someone like yourself, and all of you phenoms out of SVA.Taeeun Yoo, Lauren Castillo, Anna Raff, You Byun, Lisa Anchin…the list goes on, I remember having the impression that the future was crystal clear and right around the corner for you. When you start out, the problem with being in the trenches, working like crazy, is that it’s hard to see what’s ahead and it might feel like it could take forever.  But to anyone like myself who has been in the business a while, talent glows in the dark. 5 So, I always remember how Tom Feelings helped me and I try to pass that on.

Can you talk a bit about your process? What are some of your favorite tools? What do you love the most about making art for picture books?

Eeeek.  My ‘process’ is pretty much a hot mess.  I doodle for days.  I collect the doodles, compose a slew of layouts, discard half and put together a smorgasbord of images to discuss with my editor.  Usually, I feel my way along a dark corridor, downloading images from dreams, things I’ve seen, music, travels….doodling and then, refining the doodles.  Eventually, I pick variations, stick them into mini dummies and then blow them up to refine further.  I go through about three or four dummies at least. 6 When I have layouts I like, I start final drawings in whatever order appeals.  Those final drawings are done by hand but in a photoshop, layer fashion:  a hand here, a horse there, a house on yet another piece of trace paper.  I assemble all of the scraps on my drawing table where I’ll have drawn an outline of the open book.  After I’ve arranged the various elements within that frame, I put a piece of trace paper over everything and make a final ink drawing.  That drawing I copy onto Fabriano Artistico hot press paper, the heavy stuff….300 pound I think.  I use paper that is forgiving because I tend to abuse it.
B&B sisters b168          B&B sisters c169      B&B sisters d170
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With the drawing done in light pencil (usually 3 or 4H), I usually do washes of the background colors or any underpainting first.  Then I feel my way along in terms of color.  If I’ve put down an olive green, I might feel I need a rust next to it.  Even if I’ve done color studies, I tend to just go with my gut once I start painting.  It surprises me without fail, that after the book is done I’ll see there was a particular palette specific to the book.  Only rarely have I set out with an intentional palette.  I use watercolor and gouache pretty interchangeably, go in with color pencil, smooth things out with pastel, hit it with anything that seems called for and then spray the whole thing heavily.  I don’t recommend this.  What I do know is that I may start a page with every intention of being light and washy and loose and then things get brighter and juicier and tighter and I swear that the next book will be light and loose.7

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The #WeNeedDiverseBooks Campaign has been a hot topic for a few weeks now. As a maker of diverse books for children and a luminary in the field, what are some of your thoughts on this issue? 

The percentages haven’t changed since I’ve been doing books.  I came in after a wave that included Tom Feelings and Jerry Pinkney and Walter Dean Myers and Mildred Pitts Walter and others.  They were prolific new voices.  But back in the day, it seemed like I knew every single illustrator and writer of color and could call them up.  The field should not have been that small.  Today, there are more creators of color but the percentages of books featuring people of color has apparently diminished despite the wide range of work covering a wide range of topics, being created by a wide range of people of color.  The disparity can’t be corrected by people of color.  There still exists a mentality that a child will only appreciate a book with someone of his own race on the cover and that is what needs to change.

As a black woman, I think a lot about the lack of black women picture book artists working in our field. Do you have any thoughts on why African American women seemingly aren’t pursuing careers in picturebooks as much as their male counterparts? 

We could be at this for days.  I have this talk in class every semester. Not just about African American women though…about all women.  Here’s my thinking and it is unrefined and preliminary at best:  There seem to be a grillion-to-one women-to-men at every children’s book conference and in every class.  But the industry is heavily male when it comes to the talent.  What I see in class informs my thinking.  If you critique a woman she might take your advice, she might reject it.  But when challenged or critiqued, some decide it is not working for them, that this may not be the business for them.  Men don’t seem to get as easily discouraged.  This is a pretty amateur observation based, I think , on one dance I went to in high school where the guys never retreated to a corner or went home if a girl wouldn’t dance.  Men seem genetically encoded to pump themselves up and get back in the fray….even if a casual observer would consider them delusional about their gifts.  Women need a bit of that chutzpah.  What helped me, and the trait I see in the women I know who get published, is a no holds barred passion for the work.  I left school with the attitude that this is what I would do.  I heard all of the stories about folks who ‘got discovered’.  But what I’ve found over time is: male, female, black, white, whatever…you have to throw everything you have at this if you want to do it.8

I could ask many more questions, but I will end with one more. What advice do you have for illustrators working today who are trying to sustain a career as long and successful as yours has been?

It is as huge a cliche as you’ll ever hear:  Do what you love.  It won’t feel like work.  It won’t ever get boring.  You won’t ever retire.  If, bless you, you one day sell the worldwide film rights to your little picture book and make a grillion dollars, you’ll wake  up the next day and still want to tell another story.  And it will be fun.

Thank you Pat for all that you do and have done for us puppies!
I certainly would not have made it this far without you and your work.
To see more of Pat Cumming’s work visit her at www.patcummings.com.
You can also find her on facebook.

 

1. For those of you who want to become book illustrators, a book typically takes six months to a year to illustrate, but as I tell all of my students, it is a marathon, not a sprint. Do your very best work and if that means slowing down a tad to ensure your best work, then by all means, do so. Do be realistic about your working process and let your publisher know well in advance how long it will take you to finish. Tom Feelings’ The Middle Passage is an amazing work of art that transcends the label “picture book” by all accounts. You can see more of his work here. (Fast forward to 31:00 to hear Tom in his own words).

2. I speak to my students often about choosing a partner wisely. Male or female, choosing a partner who respects you and your work is crucial to living a long and artistic life. Being an artist is a long and lonely road for most, and there are times when the going will get tough. You will need people in your life, be it a mate, friend, family member, agent, editor, audience, -heck, even a loyal pet will work, to help build you up and remind you that this is work that needs to be done.

3. YES!!! She’s your queeeeeeen to beeeeee! One of the greatest movies of all time. Eddie Murphy and the Hudlin Brothers made black folk so beautiful in their films.

4. I grew up in a family of educators. My mom was an english teacher before becoming a guidance counselor. I also find it funny that many illustrators and authors that I have met over time were raised by teachers. Oh man, I want to make that a book now.

5. I am so thrilled you saw the talent in me then and helped nurture and support it. I was walking around in the dark back then, reaching for stars that I wouldn’t see. I have students like that now, who are amazing artists and storytellers. I drag many of them into the light, but like you, I can only push so much. At the end of the day, they have to find a way to kick the door in for themselves.

6. Again, marathon, not a sprint.

7. Ha! This is hilarious. There is nothing light and loose about your personality. You are bright and vivid in personality and it shines so clearly in the work that you make. It is stunning work, no matter how you arrived at it. Though, the work you did earlier, was lighter and looser. I bought a copy of My Mama Needs Me a while back and was interested to see how much your work has changed from that book and Just Us Women. It’s not a criticism, just an observation. Your use of color is amazing to me.

8. I have this talk too in all of my classes. I ask my students their thoughts about women in the field, people of color in the field, etc. For African American artists though, I wonder if because there aren’t many historically black universities that offer illustration courses. I am seeing more POC at MICA, where I teach, but the numbers are still pretty low. When I was looking at colleges, I didn’t even consider historically black universities because I didn’t know of any illustrators who were making books that graduated from Howard, Spelman, Florida A&M, etc.. As for women, yes, I see so many more in art school, at SCBWI conferences etc., but I tell my students all the time, they have to stand up and be seen. They have to be persistent, and they have to be super confident. As I said in an interview with Sam Weber earlier this year, “if you don’t know that I’m not awesome, I’m not gon’ tell you I’m not awesome”.

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11. Beauty and the Beast



Join us for a one-hour autism-friendly performance of Disney's Beauty and the Beast, Jr. on Saturday, August 2, 2014 at 12:00 noon.  Seats are still available, and now open to everyone.  Come to the Children's Room to reserve your spot, or call 516-921-0185 or email splchildrens@syossetlibrary.org.





Posted by Pam

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12. Once upon a quiz

From Little Red Riding Hood to Frozen, the contemporary fairy tales we know today had their beginnings in classic versions that may seem less familiar at first glance. Inspired by Once Upon a Time by Marina Warner, we’re testing your knowledge of well-known favorites with the quiz below. Do you know your Cinderella from your Sleeping Beauty? Try your hand at the questions to see if you have what it takes to be King or Queen of fairy tale lore.

Your Score:  

Your Ranking:  

We hope you enjoyed taking this quiz. If you still don’t want to leave the world of ‘happily ever afters’, why not discover who the OUP staff chose as their favourite characters from fairy tale history?

Featured image credit: Beauty and the Beast, by Warwick Goble. Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

The post Once upon a quiz appeared first on OUPblog.

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13. Emma Watson To Play Belle in Disney’s ‘Beauty and the Beast’ Live-Action Remake

The "Harry Potter" actress Emma Watson has been cast as Belle in Disney's live-action remake of its 1991 film "Beauty and the Beast."

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14. Disney’s Live-Action/CGI ‘Dumbo’ To Fly with Tim Burton

Director Tim Burton will be seeing pink elephants for Disney.

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15. Beauty & the Beast: 6

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16. Beauty & the Beast: 7

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17. Beauty & the Beast: 8

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18. Beauty & the Beast: 9

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19. Beauty & the Beast: 10

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20. Beauty & the Beast: 11

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21. Beauty & the Beast: 12

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22. Thai “Beauty & the Beast”

The funniest thing I’ve seen in weeks: this Thai CG knock-off of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast – though it should be more aptly titled “Beauty and the Lion King“. For another laugh, check out this poster for their version of The Princess and the Frog.

(Thanks, Clint H.)


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23. REVIEW: 3D “Lion King” and 3D “Beauty and the Beast”

Two years ago, at the big Hall H Disney presentation at the San Diego Comic Con – the year Miyazaki was there – John Lasseter presented a clip from the forthcoming Beauty and The Beast 3D conversion. I hadn’t heard about this project, but was strangely intrigued with the idea of 3D conversion of previously flat 2D cartoons. I always loved Disney’s Melody, and Paramount’s Boo Moon and Popeye The Ace of Space are two great examples of what a 3D cartoon can look like if done properly (I am not as impressed with Lantz’ Hypnotic Hick and Warners’ Lumberjack Rabbit). I even enjoyed the 3D aspects of the otherwise awful Starchaser: The Legend of Orin.

I was particularly enthused when Lasseter introduced the clip – but became less so as he discussed the process. Here’s how I recall his introduction, and what I was thinking during it…

Lasseter: “There were 3D cartoons done in the 1950s…”

My Thoughts: “Yes there were. And they looked great – like old Viewmaster slides come to life!”

Lasseter (in a negative way): “…but they were old fashioned and looked like Viewmaster slides…”

My Thoughts: “But… but… that was COOL!”

Lasseter: “Luckily, we figured out a new way to create 3D out of hand drawn cartoons…”

My thoughts: “But… but… it doesn’t need a “new way”. MELODY looked incredible…”

Lasseter: “Instead of flat art, we’ve figured out a way to round the edges…”

My thoughts: “That doesn’t sound good…”

Lasseter: “This isn’t your father’s 3D cartoon…”

My thoughts while watching the clip: “Oh. My. God.”

I don’t have problems watching 3D movies. I don’t get headaches, my eyes don’t tear… but watching this clip gave me a headache and hurt my eyes. Needless to say I was not surprised when the film didn’t open theatrically as originally planned.

Cut to 2011 – and this past week the 3D Beauty and The Beast opened at the El Capitan Theatre sans almost any publicity. I simply had to go see it over the weekend. I was also invited to a screening of the 3D Lion King at the Disney Studio yesterday. Here’s my assessment of how both fare in 3D form.


Beauty and The Beast – I’m not going to review the film itself, but suffice to say it was a pleasure to see it again on the big screen. The screenplay, direction, and vocal performances are even better than I remembered them. The animation was/is, of course, top notch. But there was something wrong here… the drawings of the characters, particularly in the first third of the film, looked awful. What did they do? Re-trace the animation to get the 3-D effect? There was a funky, scratchy-tracing “look” to the characters, particularly their outlines. It seemed to get better once we are in the enchanted castle – either that or I got used to it. The 3-D effect itself was pretty good. It was NOT the “rounded edge” version that Lasseter touted at Comic Con. In fact, unlike every live action or CG animated 3D film I’ve seen the past few years, the 3D “effect” didn’t wear off after the first ten minutes. It was quite a 3D Viewmaster version all throughout. Would I recommend seeing it on the big screen? No. The character designs of the townspeople and the overall “traced” look hurts the visuals. Somehow the 3D highlights these flaws… I went home a re-watched several scen

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24. Ypulse Essentials: Black Thursday & Cyber Friday, A Film That Gets 3D, Streaming Video Reaches Record High

Black Friday’s move to midnight or earlier (may have been largely driven by Millennial shoppers, who, unlike their older peers, are quite comfortable shopping in the wee hours of the morning. With their in-store shopping out of the way,... Read the rest of this post

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25. beautiful belle

i've been meaning to upload this sketch here for the last few days, but the time got away from me....


anyway, this is next up. and i shall be completing it in the next few nights because i have some customers waiting on some prints of her:)

here is a link to my etsy shop www.enchantedeasel.etsy.com where a print of snow white and ariel can be found...and purchased! hopefully if time allows, i will be able to get some more of these disney princesses done. but it'll have to wait til after the holidays.


next, is another story/illustration for the wonderful stories for children magazine http://www.storiesforchildrenmagazine.com/ entitled rainclouds and rainbows. can't wait to start sketching....

btw, she is my all time favorite princess. sweet and sassy...and SMART! that's my kind of girl;)

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