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The Travels of Babar by Jean de Brunhoff

The Travels of Babar (1939)

by Jean de Brunhoff

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Babar (2)

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» See also 3 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
Deadpan again. The Old Lady is just so delighted to have two naked elephants in her living room. And where she finds a nightdress for Celeste I can not fathom. Arthur does an obnoxious thing and starts a whole war; there's a point there. I wonder if Rataxes is ever seen again.

When I was a kid the gash in Babar (or Celeste's) rear from a spear, and the other spear being pushed with great vigor into that same rear gave me the willies. Lots of anger in the story, against the cannibals, the ship's captain, and rather justifiably on Rataxes part against Arthur. ( )
  themulhern | Mar 30, 2019 |
I agree with the other reviewers that this is deeply disturbing from an adult pov. But I did enjoy these books as a child, and was not brainwashed by them. They weren't my favorites, but I did like the vocabulary, because it made me feel smart, and the clever problem-solving. Well, fortunately there are lots better books avl. to children now; these can just fade away. ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
The Travels of Babar tells of King Babar's and Queen Celeste's wedding trip in a balloon. It is an unlucky trip. They are captured by cannibals, and then after they escape, they are put in a circus. they escape and reunite with a kind old woman that they had met. She helps them get back to their kingdom. The book is dated, especially in the way it shows other cultures like the African people who are shown as cannibals. ( )
  aleader | Mar 14, 2014 |
Royal pachyderm newlyweds Babar and Celeste set out on their honeymoon voyage in this sequel to Jean de Brunhoff's The Story of Babar, finding that their balloon ride ends in disaster when a storm sends them crash-landing on an island inhabited by "fierce and savage cannibals." Escaping with the help of an obliging whale, the couple endure many more hardships, from being stranded together on a reef to being forced to perform in a circus, before being reunited with the Old Lady who aided Babar in his first adventure, and being returned to their own land. Here, however, they discover that their travails are far from over, as a war with the rhinoceros nation has developed in their absence...

As mentioned in my review of the first volume, the Babar books have garnered quite a bit of critical attention over the last few decades, with accusations of colonialist apologia/celebration coming from some (see the collection of essays, Should We Burn Babar?: Essays on Children's Literature and the Power of Stories), and counter-claims of self-conscious colonialist parody coming from others (see the essay, Freeing the Elephants: What Babar Brought, published in The New Yorker magazine). It wasn't clear to me, reading The Story of Babar, which interpretation was the correct one, and I'm afraid it still isn't. Unfortunately, even without the issue of the colonialist narrative (whatever one makes of it), I found The Travels of Babar painfully offensive. The overtly racist visual depiction of the "savage cannibals" that Babar and Celeste encounter on the tropical island where they land - black skin, exaggerated red lips - was painful to see, and while I accept that it was a product of its time, I cannot see it as anything but a relic of a very ugly past. I think that it cannot be an accident that Gopnick, who penned the defense above, chose to base his argument primarily on the first and third Babar titles (The Story of Babar and Babar the King), and neglected to mention this one. It certainly does not lend itself to the notion that there is no harm in de Brunhoff's work... ( )
1 vote AbigailAdams26 | Apr 26, 2013 |
Ah! A journey to far off lands. I just loved these stories. ( )
  stevetempo | Nov 6, 2008 |
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jean de Brunhoffprimary authorall editionscalculated
Haas, Merle S.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Babar, the young King of the elephants, and his wife, Queen Celeste, have just left for their wedding trip in a balloon.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0394805763, Hardcover)

Babar and Queen Celeste have just been married in this early story from the most famous of elephantine chronicles. They depart for their honeymoon in a hot-air balloon, and at first all seems wonderful as they glide over a charming coastal town that might be St. Tropez before the advent of tourism. Alas, a storm takes them out to sea and then dumps them on a desert island. The fierce, spear-carrying "savages" who subsequently attack them will remind you that this book was written and illustrated in 1934: they are as far from politically correct as you can get. And the war between the elephants and the rhinoceroses, which ends the story, is also problematic for a modern audience. But the travels and adventures in between show all the excitement and charm that has made the Babar series an enduring hit. (Ages 2 to 6) --Richard Farr

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:21 -0400)

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Babar and Celeste have many adventures as they travel around the world.

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