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‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
Babar At Home
by Jean de Brunhoff
Age Range: 6-8
Babar is now King of Celesteville. He asks his friend and confidant Cornelius to announce the news that his wife Celeste is going to have a baby. Three cannon shots are fired into the air to announce this wonderful news; but Babar and the elephants of Celesteville are puzzled by the fact that there are three shots instead of only one. Soon all is revealed when Babar discovers that Celeste has given birth to triplets who are named Pom, Flora and Alexander.
There are further adventures in Babar at Home when nurse takes Pom, Flora and Alexander out for a walk in the perambulator. Noticing that there is a cold breeze, she asks Arthur (who is Babar’s little cousin) to look after them, while she fetches the babies’ jerseys. But in a moment of distraction, the perambulator begins to roll away with the babies inside. Luckily Pom and Flora are saved by the hood of the pram but Alexander gets thrown out over the cliff. A big tree stops him from falling any further and he is rescued by two kind squirrels and a giraffe.
Alexander’s misfortunes do not end here and before long he finds himself in danger again after a day out for a picnic. Everything ends well though with Babar coming to the rescue just in time.
This is a family story with the usual excitement and predicaments of bringing up children. Although the Babar stories are categorised as picture books, most of them have long texts and therefore could represent a challenge for the very young to read alone. However these charming, classic stories are ideal for reading aloud, sharing and for bedtime.
Created by Jean de Brunhoff in 1931 from an original bedtime story by his wife, Babar has lived on through his son Laurent de Brunhoff who has kept his spirit alive for more than 50 years. Building on the original framework he has created many new and exciting adventures for the elephant family.