'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Wednesday 8 November 2017

Review: The Sleeping Beauty

The Sleeping Beauty is a very special picture book.

A gorgeous retelling of the classic sleeping beauty tale, this version has been reimagined by David McAllister, Artistic Director of the Australian Ballet, and Gabriela Týlešová, a designer for the Australian Ballet’s production of The Sleeping Beauty.

The story is delightfully simple, just perfect for kids to follow and enjoy. Familiar characters abound: Aurora, Carabosse, the Lilac Fairy, the dashing prince. And all the classic plot points are there: a beautiful princess cursed by a vindictive villain, a protection spell, an enchanted forest of roses and a prince who saves the day with a kiss.

Fans of the sleeping beauty story will fall in love with this gorgeous tale all over again, but what makes this book so special, and different from other retellings, are the stunning illustrations that fill the pages.

In a captivating sketch-like style, with lots of greys and softly coloured embellishments, the illustrations are enthralling. There's a glorious mix of fantastical beings, spooky villains and dancing ballerinas, and every character on every page is decorated with intricately detailed outfits (which I secretly hope are a sneak peak at the costume designs for the ballet production). 

This is Gabriela Týlešová’s debut into the world of book illustration, but if you didn’t know it, you would think she had been doing it for years. Every page is worthy of a frame and a place on your wall.

For lovers of Aurora and the classic sleeping beauty tale, for fans of the ballet and for those who love beautiful artwork and gorgeous paper things, The Sleeping Beauty is a stunning picture book all ages will treasure.

Title: The Sleeping Beauty
Author: David McAllister
Illustrator: Gabriela Týlešová
Publisher: Little Hare, $29.99
Publication Date: 1 November 2017
Format: Hard cover
ISBN: 9781760129934
For ages: 4+
Type: Picture Book