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SOMETHING TO READ

“Beauty and the Beast: The Only One Who Didn’t Run Away” by Wendy Mass; Scholastic Press, $16.99.

Everyone laughs when they hear her name is Beauty. She is in fact rather plain. And she would rather mess about creating herbal remedies than dress like a fine lady. It doesn’t help that her older sister is the pretty one.

Prince Riley isn’t much like anyone’s idea of a prince either. He likes to do experiments in his laboratory and study the stars. Until the day a witch turns him into a Beast with a load of fur, a hawk beak of a nose and such sharp claws he can’t even put on his boots.

Beauty and the Beast take turns telling this entertaining take on the traditional fairy tale, as Mass takes the medieval setting (castle, royal family, monks and all) and elements of the well-known story but puts her own suspenseful, funny and touching spin on it. Most of all, she dumps the passive princess for a heroine with some spunk. Others in her “Twice Upon a Time” fairy tale series include “Rapunzel: The One With All the Hair” and “Sleeping Beauty, the One Who Took a Really Long Nap.”

– Jean Westmoore

SOMETHING TO DO

It’s your last chance to catch “The Science of Sports” exhibit at the Buffalo Museum of Science, 1020 Humboldt Parkway. The exhibit closes on Sunday. For more information, visit www.sciencebuff.org or call 896-5200.

SOMETHING TO LEARN

Why is it winter in Buffalo while it’s summer in Sydney, Australia? Buffalo is in the Northern Hemisphere, and Sydney is in the Southern Hemisphere. The seasons are reversed because the Earth tilts on its axis as it moves around the sun. When it’s wintertime in Buffalo, or anywhere else in the Northern Hemisphere, Earth is tilted away from the sun. So the sun’s rays indirectly strike the Northern Hemisphere, causing winter conditions. At the same time, Australia and the rest of the Southern Hemisphere are tilted more toward the sun. The sun’s rays strike the Southern Hemisphere more directly, resulting in summer conditions.

– Time Book of Why