Monday, March 10, 2008

The many faces of Babar

OK, I just learned the details of this tonight while organizing the Babar books that I have to read tomorrow morning before they have to be returned to the library later in the day - I've already renewed them once so we've had them for 6 weeks already. Which reminds me, I REALLY need to go pick up my boots from the shoe doctor tomorrow!
So, back to Babar.

Babar was originally written by Jean de Brunhoff. He wrote 7 books about Babar before he died at 37 years old in 1937.
Jean de Brunhoff's Babar books were:
The Story of Babar (1931)
The Travels of Babar (1932)
Babar the King (1933)
L'ABC de Babar (1934)
Babar and Z├ęphir (1936)
Babar and His Children (1938)
Babar and Father Christmas (1941)

Seven to nine years later, his son Laurent de Brunhoff started to continue the Babar series and has now written over 30 books about the Elephant King.

Now, the tricky thing is that Babar became a TV show with 78 episodes and, in collaboration with that, there are books published that are "Based on the animated series "Babar"". These books are "Based on characters created by Jean and Laurent de Brunhoff" but the books themselves are based on stories written and illustrated by other people. For instance we own the book "Babar; The Best Present in the World". It's based on a story by B.P. Nichol with image adaptation by Van Gool-Lefevre-Loiseaux. It was published in 1990.

So I guess that the point of all of this is to pay attention when you are buying or checking out a Babar book to notice who actually wrote and illustrated it.

For additional information see:
http://www.nybooks.com/articles/17640

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/results.asp?SZE=100&WRD=babar

http://www.amazon.com/s?ie=UTF8&keywords=babar&tag=writerswrite&index=books&link%5Fcode=qs


We ran into a similar issue when we started collecting all of the "Lars the Little Polar Bear" books by Hans de Beers. And come to think of it, we also ran into this when we were collecting the "Harold and The Purple Crayon" books; not all of those are written by Crockett Johnson.

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