Retelling of fairy tale sweet, fun

TWICE UPON A TIME: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, THE ONLY ONE WHO DIDN’T RUN AWAY. By Wendy Mass. For ages 8-12

Wendy Mass continues her “Twice Upon a Time” series with a retelling of “Beauty and the Beast.” Beauty is the odd one out in her family. She is awkward, loves to read books and collect treasures dropped by other people.

She is not poised, or graceful or even all that beautiful — like her older sister. Riley likes to play the bagpipes, he’s not very athletic and is surely not brave. As a prince, he is sort of a flop — unlike his perfect older brother. Both Beauty’s and Riley’s lives are turned upside down. Beauty embarks on a quest and Riley is turned into a beast. They then have to learn about themselves before they can rescue each other.

Young girls will adore this tale filled with humor, adventure and plenty of romance. Unlike much of the fantasy on the market today, this story is very clean. No real bad guys, no mean families and no edge. This story is sweet and fun for those who just want to sigh when they read a romantic fairy tale.

McGeath Freeman reviews children’s books for Lowcountry parent magazine.