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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 Visits Another Planet
by Laurent de Brunhoff
Age Range: 6-8
While picnicking outside the city of Celesteville a rocket lands nearby and sucks in Babar, Celeste, cousin Arthur, the children and Zephir the monkey. After travelling in space for a while they finally land safely on a strange planet. They are greeted by a fleet of skimmercraft, piloted by some very strange looking creatures that look similar to elephants, but they are not real elephants.
The strangers are very friendly and take the whole family away on flying eggs to meet Mr Totem, the person responsible for Babar and his family being brought here. The family enjoy fantastic hospitality in his magnificent house where they sleep in odd beds and consume breakfast from a very original machine. The only problem for Babar is that his hosts do not want him and his family to leave the planet. It is only when Arthur hurts himself, whilst assisting in a tournament, that Babar is able to use the accident as an excuse to leave and to go back to Celesteville to get Arthur seen by a doctor.
This story is a wonderful tool to promote diversity, understanding and tolerance of new and unknown cultures. It explores how well different groups of people can live together in harmony by showing respect and understanding for one another.
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.