The plush Babar, the beloved king of the elephants who sports a bright green suit and golden crown, was originally a gift for my older son when he was an infant. Now Babar sits most happily in my bedroom as my boys (yes, even the two year-old) have simply outgrown him. So all the souvenirs I've picked up over the years in France have now mostly become mine, though thankfully the boys still enjoy Babar's delightful tales and adventures with his wife Celeste and their family (one of my favorites is A Gift for Mother, which taught my son that his drawings are more special and more valuable than any store bought present).
In the States, it's been nearly impossible to find Babar mementos except for the storybooks... until now. With the 80th anniversary of Babar upon us (in 1933, Babar's first book appeared in the United States, two years after the publication of the French version), we'll be seeing a lot more of our enchanting little pachyderm stateside!
I did run into these pretty paper butterflies upcycled from vintage Babar book pages (from Dallas Manicom's Abounding Treasures shop on Etsy) that I think could easily be hung in an adult space, ...non?
|photo credit: Dallas Manicom|
Here's a short video with author and illustrator Laurent de Brunhoff at his home in Florida explaining the history of Babar and demonstrating his process of sketching, painting and bringing Babar to life. At a youthful 87, Laurent has no plans of retiring Babar. The 42nd book of the series, Babar's Celesteville Games, was just released in 2011.