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4.1 out of 5 stars
38
4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 24 March 1999
This book is about an elephant's travels after the death of his mother-- his search for independence and his return home. He takes what he has learned on his travels and offers it to the other animals in the forest. The book teaches that you can overcome aversity and make good things happen by working hard. Babar gets beyond the death of his mother by going to the city, studying and by learning how to act in society. I like the book because it is well written and has excellent pictures. It also has a strong message and teaches you a lot about the ways of the world. I also like the way that elephants are used to teach the message.
---- Makki Russo (Age 7)----
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on 22 April 1998
My father read it to me. I read it to my boys, and now my grandchildren have met the gentle, bemused, wise elephant, his wife Celeste, the old lady, and the little elephants Flora, Pom and Arthur. I confidently assume I'll be reading Babar to great-grandkids one day. As in so many animal stories, there's the loss of a parent, followed by the assumption of responsibilities and rank. Babar is different, however. Just look at the insouciant way he wears his crown. As a small child, a half-century ago, I liked the endpapers best, with the elephant parade: nose to tail. As an adult, I appreciate the deadpan tone of the narrative as Babar learns how to rule. His creator has given him the correct dignified posture to grace his human clothing. People with too much time on their hands have offered literary criticism of this series. Children know better, and simply enjoy the stories and pictures.
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on 4 March 2004
I grew up with these books, as did my parents. They still delight me and the current generation of small people with their inventive sense of fun. They combine beautiful illustrations with a storyline that draws the little reader, or listener into a fantastical but highly credible world.
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on 15 May 2011
I bought this for my 2 year old nephew and would suggest that this is probably the minimum age for this story. Whilst it is obviously a classic children's book, care needs to be taken insofar that Babar's mother get shot and killed by a hunter about 6 pages into the story and, later on, the King Elephant dies after eating a poisonous mushroom. In this respect, the book is very much of it's era and you would imagine that these episodes would not appear in a modern book aimed at the same audience. Children are more sensitive these days. However, the illustrations also stem from this era and I quite like the fact that Babar obviously drives a vintage car and wears spats - a fair trade-off with the book's darker moments, I think.

In summary, this is an essential children's book but whilst the paperback edition is large and colourful, it is obviously not a robust as a hardback book. The story is also written in italics which made a few words difficult to read. However, this book belongs in every child's library and is an essential purchase. Note that some of the illustrations have annotations which have been amended back into English from the original French.
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on 14 November 2014
You can deconstruct this all you like from a colonialist, race or class perspective, there's no gettting away from the fact that this is the most rattling good yarn (two deaths! one wedding!) you could ever give to a two-year-old. I amend some of the language of my American hardback (floorwalker: shop assistant) in the telling

Steer clear of the sequels penned by Jean's son Laurent: milk and water
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on 7 October 2011
I love the original Barbar and so does my 3 yr old son but neither of us liked this as much.Its too old for him but usually we can make a story around the pictures to suit his age. I found this hard as its gots pictures of what they call in the book cannibals and they've got spears and are attacking the elephants. I know in the original Barbars mother dies but the book in general is so much better, however he does love Barbar at home and Barbar and the seasons.
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on 22 April 1998
I find it an outrage that older people pretend to have forgotten how it feels when a vile hunter kills your mother elephant. The page of The Story of Babar, the Little Elephant where this base crime was commited used to be wet with tears. Of course, there were four of us, aged three to eight, repeatedly reading about this despicable deed, and unfailingly shocked to tears. But on the next page, the city was so much like the one which roared across our windows. The younger amongst us would not have found it extraordinary to come across an elephant in Paris, and the older ones knew that there was a direct way from our native city to the forest where, as elephants, we did belong. Yet, how come we forgot is a deep mystery. But still, I know the way to the forest: come hither, I show you...
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on 31 January 2015
I loved the Babar Story Book when I was little, over 60 years ago. I ordered this edition expecting the complete book that I remembered as a child, but this contains only the first part and is one of a series of books. That's my fault for not taking care to read up what I was getting in the first place. It's nicely produced and illustrated but my six year old granddaughter found it a little distracting trying to read the script typeface.
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on 28 July 1999
Enjoyed reading this series so much to our son that I am buying these books 25 years later as gifts.
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on 29 December 2015
It is a great story, unfortunately the package was folded in half to get it through out letter box, hence amend your account settings to: "do not put through letter box" because it spoils the book.
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