Babar continues to be one of the best-loved children's book characters ever created, selling millions of copies worldwide. Cecile de Brunhoff first told her children a story about a little elephant in 1931. The tale was related to their father, the painter Jean de Brunhoff, who created the familiar picture-books. The stories were written in French, but all were quickly translated and published in English. The first was L’Histoire de Babar (Paris, 1931: The story of Babar, New York, 1933). Jean de Brunhoff wrote only seven titles before he died. Shortly after the end of the Second World War, Brunhoff’s son Laurent found a publisher who supported his mission of continuing the stories of Babar. Laurent has gone on to provide more than thirty adventures for the elephant family.
Celestevill Games is the newest Babar book published by Abrams Books for young readers Babar and his family are thrilled that Celesteville is hosting the Games! This is their chance to see the best athletes from all over the world compete and to meet new people from other countries. Everyone is wide-eyed as gymnasts fly through the air, divers make a splash, and bicyclists race to the finish line! Babar’s daughter, Flora, likes to watch the handsome pole-vaulter Cory, from the country of Mirza. One day the two meet in the park, and love soon follows. When Cory asks Flora to marry him, everyone comes together to help them have a magnificent Mirzi wedding.
The Olympic Games only more so! The pictures of an elephant diving into a swimming pool are priceless! And gymnastics! Who would have thought that hippos were almost as good at the high bar as elephants? If you are a Babar fan, you’re sure to enjoy this delightful story. If Babar is new to you maybe now is a good time to get to know him.
If you would like to find out more about Babar, The Musées des Arts Décoratifs in
is currently holding an exhibition of all things Babar. The exhibition retraces the adventures of this hero of children’s literature since his creation in 1931. All the Babar books will be shown, with a selection of one hundred original drawings lent by prestigious institutions such as the Bibliothèque Nationale and the Morgan Library and the Paris Mary Ryan Gallery in , and also private collectors. Read on New York
How about you? Are you a Babar fan or do you agree with the parents (see article in The Telegraph) who think Babar should be withdrawn from library shelves?