I remember Babar the Elephant from my childhood. Maybe you read them too? Maybe your parents did? Maybe your grandparents even? Yes, it’s difficult to believe, but it’s true: Babar’s books were first published in the UK 80 years go.
That’s quite a history and Babar is quite a character. We were sent some Babar books to read together and H really enjoyed them. We started off to with The Story of Babar, which is the first of the Babar books and tells the tale about how the orphaned little Babar escapes the jungle for the city. Later he returns to become King of the Elephants. The book includes an introduction from the author of Winnie the Pooh, AA Milne, and he says:
If you have never loved elephants, you will love them now.
I do believe he’s right. H immediately warmed to the 80-year-old story, loving the tale, the illustrations and the characters. He was keen to follow our story up with the other books which follow Babar’s adventures as he builds a city and raises a family.
For us a particular favourite was Babar’s Gallery which includes many wonderful representations of famous art works featuring elephants in the leading roles rather than humans.
The series makes a lovely gift and my eye was taken by The Babar Collection which is a gift set of 5 large format copies of the classic stories within a hardback book in a slipcase.