"Really, they are very well dressed. I would like to have some fine clothes too!": First American Edition of Jean de Brunhoff's The Story of Babar the Little Elephant
The Story of Babar the Little Elephant.
de Brunhoff, Jean.
Item Number: 89021
New York: Harrison Smith and Robert Haas, Inc, 1933.
First American edition of the first book in de Brunhoff’s Babar the Elephant series. Translated from the French by Merle Haas. Folio, original quarter cloth over illustrated boards, pictorial endpapers. Illustrated by the author. In very good condition with some wear to the extremities. A much nicer example than usually found.
Based on a story de Brunhoff's wife created for their children, The Story of Babar tells the tale of a young elephant who escapes a hunter in his native jungle and comes to appreciate the civilization and fine things of the big city. He later returns to the jungle where he is crowned King of the Elephant Kingdom for the wisdom and civility he has gained in his travels. The book enjoyed immediate success upon publication and de Brunhoff went on to publish six more stories in the series before his death in 1937. His son, Laurent de Brunhoff, carried on the series and it was made into an animated television series in Canada which ran a total of 65 episodes between 1889 and 1991. "Like an extravagant piece of poetry, the interplay between few words and many pictures, commonly called the picture book, is a difficult, exquisite, and most easily collapsible form that few have mastered....Jean de Brunhoff was a master of this form. Between 1931 and 1937 he completed a body of work that forever changed the face of the illustrated book" (Maurice Sendak).