Beauty and the Beast overload in the library!

This is a blog post that pays tribute to popular fairy tale, Beauty and The Beast. Beauty and the Beast  is a traditional fairy tale written by French novelist Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve and published in 1740 in La Jeune Américaine et les contes marins (The Young American and Marine Tales).

The story that a young woman named Beauty, who offers herself in exchange for her father, who has been imprisoned by the Beast, after stealing a rose from the beast’s garden, which was intended for Beauty as a gift. She discovers that her captor is an enchanted prince in disguise, who must find true love, despite his ugliness, to revert back to his former self. The question is can Beauty look beyond the beast’s ugly exterior and find true beauty within his heart?

Check out other versions and retellings of this classic fairy tale that the library holds:

image courtesy of syndeticsBeauty and the Beast, illustrated by Dan Taylor.

Beauty and the Beast is a perfect introduction to this classic fairytale. Push, pull, and turn mechanisms bring the story to life and introduce all the main characters: Beauty, her father, and of course the Beast! This well-loved fairytale is beautifully imagined for a new generation by children’s illustrator Dan Taylor.


image courtesy of syndeticsBeauty and the beast / retold by Michael Morpurgo ; illustrated by Loretta Schauer.

A captivating retelling of the nation’s favourite fairy tale, from the nation’s favourite storyteller, Michael Morpurgo. After encountering a fearsome beast at a mysterious palace, down-on-his-luck merchant Marco is forced to make a promise in exchange for his life: he must persuade one of his three daughters to return to the palace in his place – but she must come of her own free will. Beautiful, kind-hearted Belle agrees at once to return to the palace, and there she and the Beast exist companionably, with the Beast asking of Belle the same question at the end of each day: “Dearest Belle, will you marry me?” After a return home to consult with her father, Belle resolves to follow her heart and return to the Beast, but her plans are thwarted by the trickery of her jealous sisters. When, at last, Belle is able to find her way back to the palace, she finds her beloved Beast lying as still as death on the ground. As Belle’s tears fall on his face, the Beast is transformed into a handsome prince the ancient spell upon him broken by Belle’s tears of true love.

image courtesy of syndeticsBeauty and the Beast / by Melissa Lagonegro ; illustrated by the Disney Storybook Art Team.

Belle is trapped in a castle, under a terrible curse. Can she break the spell?

image courtesy of syndeticsBeauty and the beast / [retold by] Berlie Doherty ; illustrated by Jane Ray.

image courtesy of syndeticsBeauty and the beast / Ursula Jones ; Sarah Gibb.

image courtesy of syndeticsBeauty and the beast  retold by Max Eilenberg ; illustrated by Angela Barrett.

image courtesy of syndeticsBeauty and the beast by Geraldine McCaughrean ; illustrated by Gary Blythe.





image courtesy of syndeticsThe Fairytale Hairdresser and Beauty and the Beast by Abie Longstaff & Lauren Beard.

image courtesy of syndeticsThe beast within : a tale of beauty‘s prince  by Serena Valentino.

Presents an adaptation of the classic Beauty and the Beast fairy tale from the perspective of the cursed prince who is transformed from a beloved and jovial ruler into a reclusive and bitter monster in search of true love.

Love to watch stories? Now we have Walt Disney’s Animated classic of Beauty and the Beast available on DVD at your local library!

image courtest of amazon.comWalt Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.

A Walt Disney movie about a tough no nonsense heroine, named Belle (French word for Beauty), who offers herself in exchange for her father, who has been imprisoned by the Beast, and discovers that her captor is an enchanted prince in disguise. While the situation is anything than ideal, this Beauty and the Beast must learn, in a very Pride and Prejudice-like way to overcome their pride and stubbornness, in the hopes of falling in love and breaking the beast’s enchantment. This film is beautifully constructed and made! Filled with lots of quirky characters, in the form of Lumiere (a candle stick), Cogsworth (a cynical clock), Mrs Potts (a mother-hen teapot) and many musical numbers. A film that the entire family can enjoy – especially on a Saturday night!


image courtesy of amazon.comMovie Review: Beauty and the Beast.

Belle (Emma Watson), a bright, beautiful and independent young woman, is taken prisoner by a beast (Dan Stevens) in his castle. Despite her fears, she befriends the castle’s enchanted staff and learns to look beyond the beast’s hideous exterior, recognising the kind heart and soul of the true prince that hides on the inside.

This film is beautifully constructed and made! Overall it was an interesting revamp of the original animated 1992 classic. Filled with the same musical numbers and dance sequences, there a few twists, turns and few surprises during the film. Sorry, no spoilers in this review. The ballroom scene where Belle and the beast are dancing is fantastic. Belle’s dress and the dance moves – WOW, could possibly put the previous Disney Princess, Cinderella to shame!

All the characters had a part to play, had more depth, personality and beautifully showcased their uniqueness on screen. Even actor, Luke Evans did a very good job at playing arrogant, vain and sadistic baddie, Gaston, who foolishly hopes to win Belle’s hand, who in turn politely, but firmly rejects him! He didn’t have a bad singing voice either.

The characters:  Lumiere, Cogsworth and Mrs Potts were wonderful and entertaining. I particularly loved Lumiere’s number “Be Our Guest”, beautifully sung by Ewen McGregor.

Dan Stevens is phenomenal (and perhaps a tad bad tempered) as the beast. I always cracked up over his dry sense of humour. Overall he did the character of the beast justice to its original predecessor. I found there was more depth to the characters: Belle and the beast, and perhaps more of a back story as to how their background, experiences and personalities shaped the people that they came to be. I think in a sense these two are portrayed as mirror images of each other and have great, not to mention a unique chemistry.

I think Emma Watson plays Belle as more lady-like in this film. Not as openly stubborn and strong willed as the original Belle, but more quietly assertive and determined. Not to mention she is very polite in standing up to the beast and Gaston.

As always, the story encourages viewers to look beyond the superficial and to be compassionate, curious, humble, and generous. This movie is a must see and has been worth the long wait. A film that the entire family can enjoy on a night out on the town– especially on a Saturday night! 9/10 all the way!

Also check out the trailer and some musical numbers from the film.




New Non Fiction to begin the new year!

Welcome to 2017! A new year and  a new start. And so far, it looks very promising at the library with truck loads of new and amazing non fiction where the wonderful world of Harry Potter continues, and collides with an amazing world of fantastic beasts and hidden realms. Further worlds and realms are discovered where imagination takes flight, creativity comes to life, passions are invoked and where heroes, heroines, role models, leaders are discovered.


image courtesy of syndeticsAlbus Dumbledore.

The Harry Potter film collection continues with the complete guide to Albus Dumbledore. This book holds photographs, memories, and quotes from the eight Harry Potter films featuring Albus Dumbledore, looking the moments that made him a great wizard and Hogwarts headmaster, and how he guided Harry in his adventures.


image courtesy of syndeticsFantastic beasts and where to find them : magical movie handbook.

The spin off of the Harry Potter films comes to life with the release of the magical movie handbook: Fantastic Beasts and where to find them. This book featuring amazing photos and details from the film, this handbook highlights all of your favorite characters, locations, artifacts, spells, and magical moments from the movie.


Shakespeare Retold.

The wonderful world of William Shakespeare’s plays comes to life in this illustrated volume which features seven classic plays by William Shakespeare, retold by E. Nesbit in plain English – Great for those who aren’t fluent in Shakespeare’s language.



A Miscellany of Magical Beasts.

A world of magical, mythical creatures from around the worlds comes to life in this amazing book that details information about  giants, trolls, harpies, unicorns, and much, much more!




image courtesy of syndeticsVolothamp Geddarm’s dungeonology : an epic adventure through the Forgotten Realms.

Take a journey into the Forbidden Realms in this amazing book that provides information on how to best explore the treasure-laden dungeons, mysterious Underchasm, and Icewind Dale.



image courtesy of syndeticsThe curious guide to things that arent.

This guide is a toolkit for kids that teaches them how to think creatively  through deductive reasoning, listening skills, and imagination, as well as help kids then have to figure out the answers through detective work and a little creative reasoning.



image courtesy of syndeticsA world of Information.

This book is literally a world of information where essential facts are brought to life by stylish infographics and fascinating commentary! You will discover amazing facts and answers to life’s questions such as How much do clouds weigh? Who invented the pencil? How many ways can you tie a knot?


 The Book of Heroes. and The Book of Heroines.

National Geographic’s has done again with these two new books on heroes, heroines and role models. In The Book of Heroes, read and discover the true stories of superheroes, rebels, world leaders, action heroes, sports legends, and many more daring dudes, all of whom played their part to make their mark, make a contribution, and make the world a better place. While Timage courtesy of syndeticshe Book of Heroines covers everything you need to know about female superstars, war heroes, world leaders, gusty gals, and everyday women who changed the world. Both books contain engaging text, high-quality photographs and is a toolkit for every kid with a goal, hope, or dream they want to make a reality.




image courtesy of syndetics

Ketea Dragons

In Ancient Greek mythology there is a sea dragon called ketea (singular ketos).

They are amphibious and have two flippers instead of legs. They have sleek bodies with hides covered in barnacles, and a long, tapering tail with a sea-weed like end.

Ketea have a long, pointy snout, long ears, sharp horns on their heads, and small sharp teeth. Although they live in the ocean around Greece, they can also survive on land.

Ketea obey Poseidon, Greek god of the sea, and he sends them to punish people who have offended him. They are ravenous and can never get enough to eat!

If you enjoyed this post and want to read more, you can find out more about dragons in The Dragon Companion: An Encyclopedia by Carole Wilkinson. All the facts in this post were taken from this book.


Some new books about dragons that you might like to read are:

The Dreadful Dragon by Kaye Umansky

Dragon Boogie by Erik Craddick

Fangbone!, third-grade barbarian by Michael Rex

How to Seize a Dragon’s Jewel by Cressida Cowell

Iron Hearted Violet by Kelly Regan Barnhill

Secrets of the Dragon World by S. A. Caldwell



This month, prepare to be freaked out!

Check out our scary new selection of non-fiction. After that you can relax reading about Lego or Music or just the wonder of our world in general. Have fun!

Syndetics book coverThe werewolf hunter’s guide / Ursula Lestrade.

Over thousands of years and across hundreds of countries, tales and legends of dreadful creatures lurking in the night have terrified people. This guide has been slowly pieced together by expert werewolf hunter Ursula Lestrade and uncovers many secrets of these shape-shifting monsters.  Arm yourself against the creatures of the night with this Werewolf Hunter’s Guide. (Book cover) There are three other scary books in this Monster Tracker Series; The Alien Hunter’s Guide, The Vampire Hunter’s Guide and The Ghost Hunter’s Guide. If you like freaky stuff then check them out.

Syndetics book coverChildren’s book of music / Deborah Lock
This is a must read for anyone interested in music. Great photos and interesting text help you learn heaps about music from its very beginnings right up to contemporary artists like Lady Gaga.
Syndetics book cover

Standing small : a celebration of 30 years of the Lego minifigure / Nevin Martell.

Find out all about your favourite LEGO characters. Do you have a Lego Ghost ? Maybe Lego Exo-Force is your favourite . Were you one of the first to get Lego Batman in 2006? Whatever your collection, you will have heaps of fun looking through this book.

Also new this month is The Lego Book. This is a larger more detailed book. Find out how the bricks are made as well as learning some secrets of the LEGO Master Builders. Lots of fun in these pages including current LEGO art creations. A must for every LEGO fan.

Syndetics book coverStarting school / Caryn Jenner & Arthur Robins.

This is a really good book for reading to your younger brother or sister who may be starting school. It is a fun book with great cartoony illustrations. It will remove any fears they may have about their new life and deals with everything from getting ready in the morning to those school toilets ,( even what to do if you don’t make it in time.)
Syndetics book coverPlanet Earth / Daniel Gilpin.
There are ten wonderful books in this series. All have beautiful photographs and easy clear text so you can learn heaps fast. This book covers the whole planet in 32 pages! Check it out, especially if you are a younger reader.

Scandinavian Dragons

In the Scandinavian countries Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden and Iceland, dragons are referred to as wurms, or lindwurms.

They have wings and two legs. Their bodies are 15 metres long, or more, and their two legs are not strong enough to support the entire weight of their bodies: so Scandinavian dragons drag their bodies along the ground, leaving a trail of slime and dead plants.

They have smooth, impenetrable hides, and soft, vulnerable underbellies. They have sharp talons as strong as iron.

They live in human burial mounds and abandoned buildings. They love to hoard treasure and can hibernate on top of a pile of treasure for many years.

Scandinavian dragons are intelligent and often capable of speech. They are also greedy and easily made angry. They breathe fire and inject venom with their fangs!

If you enjoyed this post and want to read more, you can find out more about dragons in The Dragon Companion: An Encyclopedia by Carole Wilkinson. This is an adult book, but it is okay for kids to read too. All the facts in this post were taken from this book.

Books written for kids about dragons that you might like to read are:

The Dragon of Trelian by Michelle Knudsen

Fangs ‘n’ Fire by Chris Mould

The Book of Dragons by E. Nesbit

The Fire Series by Chris D’Lacey

The Dragons of Wayward Crescent by Chris D’Lacey

How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell

Move over ancient Greek gods

Rick Riordan author of the amazing Percy Jackson series is now writing about Ancient Egyptian mythology.

The first of The Kane Chronicles is The Red Pyramid. In which Carter and Sadie Kane discover who their parents really were,  get slightly possessed by Isis and Horus (two Egyptian Gods) and have to save the world from being turned into burning chaos. Along the way they get to travel to London, Paris and New York, perform magic, indulge in some kick butt fight scenes, and hang out with a groovy knife wielding cat goddess. What is there not to love about a book like that?

Dragons on Postage Stamps

Dragons have been on postage stamps all over the world.


China’s first stamps appeared in 1878 and had dragons on them! They are known as “large dragon stamps” and are very rare. A miniature sheet of stamps was issued in 1988 to commemorate the 110th anniversary of the original dragon stamps.


Japan’s first postage stamp appeared in 1871 and also featured dragons!


In 1966 Germany issued a stamp with a mushussu dragon (a dragon that is part serpent, lion and eagle) from the Ishtar Gate, one of the entrances to the ancient city of Babylon.


In Britain a stamp was released in 1998 that had Bilbo, and Smaug the Golden Dragon, from The Hobbit. Regional stamps for use in Wales always feature the Welsh dragon emblem. Stamps are often released in Britain and Europe that show Saint George and his dragon.


Whenever the Chinese year of the Dragon comes around, many different countries issue dragon stamps. The year 2000 was a dragon year, and dragon stamps were issued in China, Macau, U.S.A, Canada, Christmas Islands, Hong Kong and Japan.


For more information on dragons have a look at the library catalogue.

European Dragons

The dragons of Europe were shown as looking different to the British Dragons. Generally they were Wyverns, a species of winged dragon with only two legs.


The smallest of all the different kinds of dragon, they ranged in size from that of a large dog to the size of a horse. Instead of scales their hides were covered in hair with markings. They had long, tapered tales that could be used like a whip. Their two legs had bird-like feet with claws. European Dragons have small but vicious teeth and their blood is poisonous.


European Dragons live in nests on the sides of mountains. They are not as aggressive as some dragons, but they have a nasty bite. Once they are captured they are easily tamed.


Descriptions of European Dragons very from country to country: for example French dragons are often female and can shape-shift into beautiful women. Some European Dragons are half-woman, half-dragon. Swiss Dragons are only found in the Alps and hibernate over winter.


For more information and books about dragons in the library have a look at this link.

Dragons: Chinese Dragons

Chinese Dragons are the friendliest kind of dragon. In China they are known as “long.”

They live in lakes, pools or rivers, where they hibernate throughout the winter. They are responsible for bringing the rain. Although they have no wings they are able fly.

They are able to change their size, from incredibly small, to incredibly large. They can also shapeshift into people, animals and objects. They have a long, slender, snake-like body, with four legs and with five claws on each paw. Chinese dragons have hairy manes, with a beard and tufts of hair on the backs of their legs. They also have a long whisker on either side of their mouth.

They come in five different colours: red, white, black, yellow and blue/green. They have five large scales under their chin which lie in the opposite direction to the other scales. Each dragon has 117 scales: 81 can be used for good and 36 for bad.

Chinese dragons have incredibly sharp eyesight, but they are hard of hearing. They are often shown grasping or reaching for a pearl, which is a symbol of wisdom, good fortune and immortality.

Find out more:

Dragons on Flags

Three countries in the world have dragons on their national flags.


Wales: The dragon has been the symbol for Wales since the 800s, but the dragon was not put on the Welsh flag until 1959. The Welsh flag features a red dragon with wings, four legs and an arrow-shaped tail. The Welsh call their flag Y Draig Goch, which means “red dragon,” and the motto of Wales is “the red dragon advances.”


Bhutan: Bhutan is a country in the Eastern Himalayan Mountains. Bhutan means “land of the dragon.” Their flag features a white, Chinese-style dragon with a pearl clutched in each paw.


Malta: The Republic of Malta is a group of Islands in the Mediterranean Sea. You have to look closely at the Maltese flag to find the dragon. In the top left-hand corner is the George Cross, a medal awarded by the King of England for bravery. In the middle of the George Cross is an image of Saint George slaying his dragon. Malta was awarded the George Cross for helping the allies in World War II.