12.10.2013

THE HISTORY OF BABAR THE ELEPHANT


Babar the King of the Elephants is an amazing series of children's books that I fancied i a very big way in 2nd grade. The art and writing had an almost Zen balance to them. The author wrote and illustrated these books in an artist fashion rather than cartoonish. Dr Seuss books were funny and made us giggle...Babar was royalty...he was dignified...totally cool books.


Jean de Brunhoff (December 9, 1899 – October 16, 1937) was a French writer and illustrator known for creating the Babar books, the first of which appeared in 1931.
 

Brunhoff was an elephant/animal rights activist early in the 20th century. Babar's story conveyed the similarities between the soulful elephants to that of human families. Children I believe, connected with the love and care of the Babar family.


This illustration is from Babar and Father Christmas, the last Babar story de Brunhoff wrote before dying of tuberculosis at age 37. A British animated film was made in 1968:


Originally published in over sized volumes with cursive writing and the author’s wonderful sprawling watercolour paintings, the English language version of Brunhoff’s Histoire de Babar immediately captured the interest of British children. Babar brings clothes and cars (and Madame) from Paris - where he has been educated - and readers follow him home to his African kingdom.


He is crowned King and transforms the elephant kingdom into a Westernised civilisation. With is family and the wise Cornelius by his side, Babar protects his land from the Rhino King The stories were adapted into an animated television series, which ran from 1989 to 1991 with 13 additional episodes aired in 2000.  READ MORE ABOUT BABAR




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