Be Our Guest: Celebrate Beauty and the Beast With the Library

It might be “a tale as old as time,” but Beauty and the Beast, opens a new window is getting retold in a new Disney live action movie coming out this month! The movie stars Emma Watson, opens a new window (the actress who played Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter movies) as Belle and Dan Stevens, opens a new window (better known as “Cousin Matthew” in Downton Abbey) as the Beast. It also has the first openly gay character in a Disney movie, La Fou, played by Josh Gad, opens a new window (the voice of Olaf in Frozen). The live action movie is a remake of the beloved 1991 Disney animated movie.

Beauty and the Beast originated as a French fairy tale, La Belleet la Bête, originally penned by novelist Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve, opens a new window. The version most well-known today was rewritten and abridged by author Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont, opens a new window. Leprince de Beaumont’s retelling was meant to teach young girls a moral lesson. She did not credit Villeneuve as the original author and is commonly referred to the original author of Beauty and the Beast.

The tale has been told and retold and you can find versions of it in novels, picture books, movies, and music. Get ready for the premiere of the new Beauty and the Beast by checking out some of these retellings from San Mateo County Libraries!


A Court of Thorns and Roses

In this new novel by the Throne of Glass series author, the beast is not an animal, but a High Lord of the faeries.

Cruel Beauty

This is a fun high fantasy retelling of the fairy tale that will appeal to YA readers.


A classic novel retelling about an awkward girl with an unfitting name who seeks to tame a Beast.


This is a modern retelling that imagines the Beast as a vain Manhattan private school student…who is of course turned into a monster.

Of Beast and Beauty

This YA novel turns the fairy tale into an action-packed sci-fi story!

Picture Books

The original fairy tale has also been turned into beautifully illustrated picture books. Here are two popular versions:

Beauty & the Beast

Beauty and the Beast

DVDs and Music

You can also experience the Disney animated movie by checking out the DVD from San Mateo County Libraries or stream the original soundtrack or Broadway recording through Hoopla.

Beauty and The Beast

Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Beast: the Broadway Musical (original Broadway Cast Recording)

Do you plan to see the new Beauty and the Beast in theaters? What's your favorite fairy tale retelling? Let us know in the comments.