Thursday, November 13, 2008

A Grey Elephant Week

Lately, Z has been obsessed with Babar. He got a Babar DVD a couple of years ago as a gift and has finally shown a real interest in it. So when we went to the library, all of the books he chose were Babar books.

First, we have Babar's Busy Year by Laurent de Brunhoff. This is a nice little book about the seasons, starting with autumn. Z liked this part because it shows pumpkins and the changing colors of the leaves, just what we are experiencing in our own lives. This is a very easy reader and is good for the youngest kids. It has bright colors and fun illustrations (also by L. de Brunhoff).

The second book Z picked is Babar's Birthday Surprise, also by Laurent de Brunhoff. This is a more text-heavy book about the commissioning of a Mount Rushmore-like mountain carving of Babar as a surprise for his birthday. The whole town works together to keep the surprise. Of course, the children also cause some mischief. I think the doctor is called in almost every Babar book! This book has a lot of different animals in it and it's quite fun.

The final Babar book we have right now is Babar and Zephir by Jean de Brunhoff. This is one of the original Babar books from the 1930s and is really just a book about Zephir. Zephir is sent home during the summer to Monkeyville, a city in the trees. We meet his parents and siblings, have some chocolate banana soup and go fishing and catch a mermaid. The mermaid later helps Zephir when a monkey princess is kidnapped. It was really strange to read this book because it was vaguely familiar, though I'm sure I haven't read anything about Babar in many years. Then, I reached the point where they describe the monster Polomoche who smells like rotting apples and I totally remembered having read that as a kid! I must have thought that was pretty strange to have stored it away in my brain for 25 or more years.

Enjoying the sharing of memories from generation to generation,
K and Z

Buy Babar's Busy Year, Babar's Birthday Surprise and Babar and Zephir on Amazon or find them at your local library.


  1. I love Babar books. I remember checking them out from the library a lot when I was a kid. I got one for my kids at a second hand book store and they like it too. I hope to get more some day soon.

  2. There is a PBS (?) show about Babar and the family of the original writer. Interesting, from what I saw.

  3. The Corbetts - I will be getting Z some Babar for Christmas. The library wants their books back eventually!

    Nora - I will totally look for that PBS show - it sounds interesting.