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Bonjour, Babar!: The Six Unabridged Classics by the Creator of Babar Hardcover – September 26, 2000
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Top Customer Reviews
Do you know how you feel when watching an old black-and-white movie that you have long loved which has been "colorized"? Yes, your favorite golden age actress now has pink skin, fucshia lips too big for her face and what color are her eyes supposed to be, exactly? The Babar art has been colorized in the most grotesque and garish sense of the word--which is really horrid when you consider that most of Brunhoff's original illustrations were already in color to begin with. Random House has decided, apparently, that Brunhoff's colors are not bright enough. Where Brunhoff shaded, Random House has plastered one uniform cartoonish shade from line to line. Babar's green suit ranges from merely loud green to splitting-headache green. The suit which he wears while playing trumpet in the circus defies description. Suffice it to say it is very blue and very red.
The beautiful scene in which the Celesteville residents bring gifts to infants Pom, Flora, and Alexander has lost its pastoral sweetness and is positively grotesque. The babies lie in their pram, which looks as though my kindergartener re-outlined it in black magic marker, under glaring green palms and flowers with a turquoise blanket scarcely dimmer than the book's cover (see above), while royal blue butterflies flit nearby. Babar is standing in a suit that is (if possible) even greener than the greenery directly behind him. A uniformly orange cow and dromedary are in the reception line. Think Fisher Price.Read more ›
While the stories at times appear a bit dated - they offer a curious mix of colonialism and advice on how to run a pluralistic animal kingdom - they offer wonderful lessons on how to get along with others. The characters are caring and many of them are somewhat flawed, as they try to puruse principled lives in the jungle. My daughter mentions them to me all the time when we talk about issues, offering us a common vocabulary and easy way to exlain things.
They also are simply very good stories, with adventure, humor, and plenty of good intentions. Warmly recommended.
From his earliest days, when his mother is shot by a hunter and he is left to fend for himself in the world, Babar is a curious and independent spirit. He makes his way to the city, where a kindly old lady gives him her purse; he purchases "a shirt with a collar and tie, a suit of a becoming shade of green, then a handsome derby hat and also shoes with spats". All decked out in new clothes, Babar is ready for whatever awaits, as he mixes with society, entertaining all with tales of his life in the forest. Later, when two of Babar's cousins arrive in the city, Babar outfits them both in new clothes. Returning with his cousins to the forest in the old lady's elegant roadster, Babar is so impressive that he is crowned King, his new fiancé, Celeste, the new Queen.
On their honeymoon, Babar and Celeste enjoy many adventures and misadventures all over the globe, returning to discover that the herd has gone to war with the rhinoceroses, a situation requiring careful strategy for success. Finally victorious, Babar promises to rule the kingdom wisely, and so he does in the following stories. In "Babar the King", the herd builds a city where all the animals peacefully coexist. There are schools, parks, automobiles; everything is perfect, save those few strokes of bad luck to remind Babar that we must never be discouraged in the face of adversity.Read more ›
TIP: We take the dust cover of any of his books that have dust covers and put them in plastic sleeves for later when we are sure he will not rip them up. That way when he is older the book looks like new even though it really is old.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
My favorite stories of all time. A must have for any true children's library.Published 12 months ago by Karin
Took this to my Austrian Godson and his brother so they could have something differant to thier childhood reading - they loved it!Published 15 months ago by Jan Moniz
If you are unfamiliar with this series it is probably at the reading level of a 4-6 year old but even the older kids will like to read it because the stories are fun and the... Read morePublished 15 months ago by DrLee