The classic story of literature’s most beloved elephant. After his mother is killed by a hunter, Babar avoids capture by escaping to the city, where he is befriended by the kindly Old Lady. Later, with cousins Celeste and Arthur, he returns to the great forest to be crowned King of the Elephants. With the original illustrations from Jean de Brunhoff’s 1931 classic, this first Babar story has enchanted generations.
While I enjoy Jean De Brunhoff’s classic illustration style, The Story of Babar has an incredibly random, empty plot when contrasted with the tender storyline of another classic figure such as Corduroy. Babar fails to develop meaning or depth. It stays at a surprisingly superficial level considering the story opening with the murder of Babar’s mother. After the opening scene, a parent would struggle to segue into any meaningful discussion while reading aloud with a child. Hoping for at least a clever ending that ties everything together, I was disappointed to see the newly appointed king and queen floating away in an air balloon far away from the needs of their kingdom.