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The Story of Babar by Jean de Brunhoff

The Story of Babar

by Jean de Brunhoff

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Babar (1)

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This is a classic children's book that is about an elephant who got lost from his parents and then was adopted by an old woman. Babar was a very smart elephant and was sharply dressed. He ends up becoming king of the elephants and defeats the rhinos. This is a great read aloud book for grades K-2. ( )
  Ryanscheafer | Dec 20, 2015 |
This book starts off with a little elephant who after seeing his mother dies, flees to the city to escape capture. When in the city, Babar meets a nice old lady who cares for him and helps him adjust to the city lifestyle.
  laurenmaune | Dec 6, 2015 |
This book talks about an elephant who witnesses his mothers death then goes to the city and gets taken in by an old lady who houses him and takes him in as her own. He then becomes part of the modern world. His cousins search to find him and he goes back to the land with them. His cousins get married and become king and queen. This book has so many wrong and inappropriate aspects to it. I do not recommend reading this in the classroom. ( )
  mholtan | Dec 3, 2015 |
This fairy tale tells the story of a young elephant named Babar. After his mother dies, he tries to avoid capture by escaping to the city. In the city, he meets a rich old woman that gives him her money. Babar learns the new ways, he buys himself a suit and walks on two legs. He becomes educated and cultured and when he returns to the forest, is crowned King of the Elephants. The illustrations in this book are very cartoon-like, very simple. The text is very long on each page, and the story gets very long. A teacher might want to use this book in the library for children in middle school. It can be read as a play time book or a small group book. ( )
  sherr3084796 | Dec 3, 2015 |
THE STORY OF BABAR, written in 1933, is a classic children’s book. It is about a small elephant named Babar who runs away to the city because he gets scared when his mother is killed by a hunter. When he goes to the city, a very rich Old Lady takes him in. She buys him new clothes and lets him live at her house. In fact, “she gives him whatever she wants.” (De Brunhoff, 21) Babar takes lessons from a professor and socializes with the Old Lady and her friends. Two years go by and Babar is missing the jungle just as he sees his cousins, Arthur and Celeste running towards him in the city! Babar buys them new clothes and food from the city, but eventually their mothers come looking for Arthur and Celeste to take them back to the jungle. Babar goes back with them, taking them in his car. On the day they arrive, the King of the elephants has eaten a bad mushroom and died, and since Babar is now educated because he went to the city, the elephants decide to make him the new king. Babar also announces that he and Celeste are going to be married! The book ends with the two cousins being wed and heading off to their honeymoon. This is a classic book that is well known to many readers, but there are underlying messages in the story that aren’t commonly seen by young children. The ideas of colonialism are presented when Babar leaves the jungle, buys clothes, starts walking upright, gets an education, and starts acting more civilized. This is essentially what had happened in history when slaves were taken from Africa. The book also poses another problem: incest. Babar and Celeste are cousins and they marry. Although THE STORY OF BABAR shows these issues, many young children wouldn’t understand or notice them. That being said, I still don’t think I would ever use this book in an elementary classroom, as it has no educational value or message, other than it is good to be rich, civilized, and educated. ( )
  k.hostetler11 | Dec 3, 2015 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jean de Brunhoffprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Haas, Merle S.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Mitten im Urwald ist ein kleiner Elefant auf die Welt gekommen.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0394805755, Hardcover)

The Story of Babar--the early adventures of the enduring, endearing elephant--was written in 1931 by French writer Jean de Brunhoff (1899-1937). Since then, it has been translated into at least 12 languages. It's amazing how much can happen to one little elephant in the course of one little book: Babar loses his mother to a hunter, wanders into the city, gets a new wardrobe, becomes the hit of high society, marries his cousin Céleste (totally acceptable in contemporary Elephantine society), and is crowned King of the Elephants.

The Story of Babar is essentially the tale of a country boy who comes to the city and, while there, comes of age. In the end, he returns home to share his knowledge and experiences with family and friends. The beautiful, delightfully detailed illustrations--de Brunhoff was a painter by trade--never fail to amuse. (Although none of the characters seem to notice, the sight of Babar in a suit leaning against the mantel while he regales his audience with tales of the jungle is plainly hilarious.) All of the Babar books are notable for their ability to tell larger stories with simplicity and style, and The Story of Babar is no exception. Potentially troubling moments--the death of Babar's mother, for example--are handled with taste, emphasizing Babar's unique gift for uncovering a silver lining in the most persistent of clouds. (Ages 4 to 8, though the cursive writing makes it best for reading aloud.)

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:36 -0400)

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When his mother is killed by a hunter, Babar the baby elephant must learn to fend for himself.

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