Just combine French culture, these cousins to Shmoo, and ecofriendliness, and you got the Barbapapas! "Barbapapa" (French) means cotton candy, or, literally, "father's beard". (Hey, I'm just givin' the facts here.) Barbapapas are animals that can change their shape. Some examples: a swing, an umbrella, a wheelbarrow, a devil, a tent, an elephant. Very handy. The parents did procreate,and they had a litter of seven Barbababies: (Barba)Beau the artist; B.Lala, the musician; B.Belle, the beauty queen; B.Bright, the scientific one; B.Zoo, the animal lover; B.Bravo, the jock, and B.Lib, the bookworm. Oh yeah, and sometimes Frank and Cindy, the humans, come to visit. The plot: The Papas realize their house is too small. Frank tells them about a house that they can squat in, so they fix it up, only to have it torn down by Big Brother Builders. The new apartment that is offered to them is depressingly cage-like and uniform, so they escape the polluted, barren city to the fresh air of the countryside. Since they can change shape, Papa becomes the mold for the Barbaplastic that they use to create their new abode. Life is good with outdoor baths, gardens, and singing birds until the wrecking ball and pals pop up again. The Papas fight back with wads of sticky Barbaplastic that they use to only thwart the wreckers, not destroy them. Peace, man. They end the evening with the Barbababies' birthday party. My daughter loves this book, and so do I. What can I say, we are weird. Copyright 1972.