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Babar and Father Christmas by Jean de…

Babar and Father Christmas (1940)

by Jean de Brunhoff

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Babar (7)

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As the last story in the series of Babar Books, Jean De Brunhoff tells the story of Babar traveling to find Father Christmas on behalf of the children in the Elephant’s country. Babar searches far and wide to find Father Christmas so that the children in Elephant’s country can receive Christmas presents from the saint too. This charming edition to the Babar series tells the story through large blocks of narration and a series of colored, drawn illustrations. The text is translated from the original french and requires a high reading level for independent reading. However, it is well suited for a one-on-one read aloud with a younger child or a story time read aloud with older students. The illustrations are indicative of the Babar series and stand alone from textual narrative. The images mostly depict the isolated events that take place on each page through focal illustrations. There are occasional scenic illustrations incorporated into the story as well. Interestingly, this story was the last story written by Jean De Brunhoff before his sudden death and his brother Michel directed the coloring of this book as well as His Children. This book is recommended for purchase as a Christmas themed concept book in a public or school library. (Ages 3-10) ( )
  alyssakimpisarski | Nov 22, 2013 |
Babar sets out to find Father Christmas in this seventh picture-book from Jean de Brunhoff - published in 1940 as Babar et le père Noël, it was the final original Babar book, with all subsequent titles either written by de Brunhoff's son, Laurent, or by ghost-writers - intent upon asking him to include the land of the elephants in his annual Christmas voyage. Traveling to Europe, where he hopes to find the seasonal gift-giver, Babar follows a number of false leads before finally tracking his quarry down at his mountainside cavern dwelling in Bohemia (near the village of PRJMNESWE). Although disappointed to learn that Father Christmas already has a full schedule for Christmas Eve, and cannot fit the elephants into his gift-giving trip, Babar does convince him to vacation in the land of the elephants, successfully setting up a seasonal relationship.

I had mixed feelings about Babar and Father Christmas, which marks the end of my recent Babar reading project - after the initial title, The Story of Babar: The Little Elephant, was chosen recently as a selection for The Picture Book Club to which I belong, I decided to read all of Jean de Brunhoff's original stories. I enjoyed aspects of it - the artwork, as usual, was charming, and I particularly liked the cross-section view of Father Christmas's vast underground complex - but overall, I found the story somewhat disjointed and unappealing. The colonialist themes, to which some have objected (Should We Burn Babar?, etc.), were very much in evidence here, as Babar once again sets out to imitate European customs, even going so far as to journey to Europe itself, in order to fetch them back to his own home country, but there was nothing that was as egregiously offensive as some of the themes in The Travels of Babar (the low point of the series, in my estimation). That said, there was little that really spoke to me, or made a strong favorable impression. Babar's new canine companion, Duck, was a rather cute addition to the cast, I suppose, and I liked some of the visuals. All in all, this was somewhere between two and three stars for me, and a rather lackluster ending to the series. ( )
1 vote AbigailAdams26 | Apr 26, 2013 |
Babar goes in search of Father Christmas -- what an adventure! ( )
  auntieknickers | Nov 12, 2008 |
This book was originally published in 1940 and the end notes tell us that it was the last one written by Jean de Brunhoff before his untimely death at age 37. The story and line drawings were finished but the illustrations still needed to be colored. Jean's brother took care of that with the help of Jean's son who was only 12 years old when his father died. I like the fact that Jean's son had a hand in the coloring of this wonderful story of a father's love and special efforts on behalf of his children at Christmastime.
This book has all the lively and humorous characteristics of the other Babar the Elephant stories, the brightly colored, warm and friendly drawings of our beloved elephant royalty, the antics and adventures of the elephants themselves and of course, our hero, King Babar once again, saving the day, in this book, a most important day, Christmas!
Arthur, Pom, Flora and Alexander, the royal elephant children , together with their monkey pal, Zephir, write Father Christmas a wish list letter and are disappointed when they don't get a reply. This ultimately leads to Babar's realization that the Elephants' Country needs to be included in Santa's regular route, so he goes to heroic lengths to make his childrens' wishes come true. Babar and Father Christmas become fast friends and Father Christmas even gets to take a much needed rest in the tropical climate of Babar's country. The way de Brunhoff has drawn Father Christmas is quirky and jolly and rather different from the image we have of him today but entirely captures the essence of this wonderful holiday icon. If you have loved other Babar stories you are sure to love it as I did. If this is your first meeting with Babar, it stands alone well. ( )
  Treeseed | Mar 4, 2008 |
When I was a child, this book was always read on the Night before Christmas as a bedtime story. I loved the drawings of Father Christmas's workshop and I still do. It's a charming Christmas story. ( )
  allisongryski | Dec 7, 2007 |
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» Add other authors (11 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jean de Brunhoffprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Haas, Merle S.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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One day Zephir calls to his friends, Arthur, Pom, Flora and Alexander:
Listen, listen to this wonderful tale which I've just heard!
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375814442, Hardcover)

Babar returns in this unusual and heartwarming Christmas story by Jean de Brunhoff. Babar’s children have caught wind of a fellow in Man’s country named Father Christmas who brings joy and toys to little children. “If only we could bring him here,” they wish. So they write the Christmas saint a letter inviting him to visit them. When they get no reply, Babar, ever the good father, rushes out to find the red-suited one. After much searching, and with the help of a dog named Duck, Babar reaches Father Christmas’s workshop in the snow. Can Babar find a way to bring him to Elephants’ country?

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:18 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Babar, the King of the Elephants, sets out to find Father Christmas and bring him back to visit the children of the Elephants' country.

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