Babar the Elephant is one of those characters from children's fiction who I think everyone knows of, but how many of us have actually read the first book that introduced him to us? I know I certainly hadn't until very recently.
The Story of Babar was the first story of the orphaned elephant and tells of how he escaped hunters in the jungle and went to the city for the first time. It's amazing to think that it's over 80 years since this title was first published in French and then a couple of years later translated into English.
This version of the book is republished in a large picture book size and features the author's original illustrations which are beautiful. The story is written in a lovely cursive font which adds a certain something to the style of it.
The Story of Babar is a lovely cute story, mainly around Babar's adventures in the city, but be warned that it also has a darker side. The scene where Babar watches his mother be killed by hunters is quite distressing and I know that Little Miss C found it so when we read the book for the first time. You don't normally end up with many people dying in children's books these days so it does come as a bit of a shock, especially if death isn't something that they've come across before.
The idea of Babar suddenly going into the city, wearing clothes and going out for afternoon tea really did amuse Little Miss C though and she loved the idea of him suddenly being able to drive a car – although she did have a few questions about how it was practically possible for an elephant to drive.
If, like me, you missed out on Babar books in your own childhood then why not share them with your children this Christmas? Or, if you did read the stories as a child, why not revisit them?
Disclaimer: We were sent a copy of The Story of Babar for the purposes of this review.