Monday, 9 July 2012

Babar's Celesteville Games - the Olympics only more so!


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 Paris 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 Mary Ryan Gallery in New York, and also private collectors. Read on

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? 

17 comments:

  1. I love Babar and this sounds like a fun book. I think pulling him, and other books off library shelves, is ridiculous.

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  2. I'm always flabbergasted at the way people find offence in things - children themselves never see it until some adult puts the idea in their minds. The silly thing is that once something is removed it gets people interested and then they go out of their way to find and read the offending title to see what all the fuss is about!

    I think these are real classics!

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  3. I love Babar, and no, he shouldn't be withdrawn from library shelves! How sad to do this to an innocent book series.

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  4. The Desert Rocks9 July 2012 at 22:10

    I feel like I might have read this but I don't see or understand how I could forget something so adorable!

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  5. I must have read those stories to my daughter a thousand times when she was younger. she loved them.

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  6. Darlene Foster10 July 2012 at 03:02

    I LOVE Babar and always have. I can't imagine not being able to read about this adorable elephant family.

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  7. barbaraannefisher10 July 2012 at 10:16

    Alex and Sharon, I agree with you both. It is utterly ridiculous! Nice to know I’m not alone in this. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

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  8. barbaraannefisher10 July 2012 at 10:18

    Another Yay for Babar, thank you Donna!

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  9. barbaraannefisher10 July 2012 at 13:16

    Curious! I wonder if you came across it on TV? According to Wikipedia - Babar was made into an animated TV series, broadcast in 30 languages in over 150 countries.

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  10. barbaraannefisher11 July 2012 at 10:49

    Hi Roger, My son and grandsons loved them too. Now ‘they’ want to ban them!

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  11. barbaraannefisher11 July 2012 at 10:50

    Hello Darlene,Hello
    I agree it just doesn’t make sense.

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  12. I always enjoyed Barbar growing up and read countless stories that he was in! I am surprised to find out that people want to ban them. I don't recall ever reading the one featured here about the Celsetial Games. I will have to read it soon. :)

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  13. barbaraannefisher12 July 2012 at 06:49

    Hi Stephanie, There is always somebody, somewhere who wants to ban something! I’m sure you will enjoy the new Babar it’s a great read.

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  14. Following your blog now! :D

    http://pgshriver.blogspot.com/
    P.G.

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  15. I just noticed that the Celestial Games is actually new. I am even more excited to read it! :)

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  16. barbaraannefisher13 July 2012 at 07:13

    Hi Stephanie, I probably confused you because I usually blog about used books! I hope you enjoy it.Thanks for leaving a comment.

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  17. barbaraannefisher17 July 2012 at 13:57

    Thank you, I'm following you too. Barbara

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I really appreciate your comment. Thank you!
Barbara xx

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