32

In the original story L'histoire de Babar: le petit éléphant (translated and published as The Story of Babar), his companion's absence is communicated by a 'vieux marabout' (an old marabous [bird]). In a subsequent book, Babar and his Children, his son is saved from a grisly fall by a giraffe. As both marabous and giraffes are, as we all know, only found ...


30

Inasmuch as Babar is from a specific continent, he's either from Europe or from Africa-as-perceived-by-Europeans-in-the-1920s. Which is not exactly Africa, but definitely not Asia. Babar's adventures spanned many books and had multiple authors and illustrators over decades, starting with Cécile and Jean de Brunhoff and continuing with their son Laurent. They ...


15

I submit that Babar is an Asian elephant on the basis of the artwork. Asian elephants differ from African elephants in a few ways, most prominently in the sizes of their ears: Asian elephants have smaller, rounder ears, whereas African elephants have larger, fan-shaped ears. Asian elephant on the left; African elephant on the right: © SunnyS/Fotolia; © ...


2

First bébé éléphant (baby elephant), then Babar, presumably as a corruption. So captivated was Jean de Brunhoff by the story his sons related to him that he immediately began to sketch the animal that the family at first called simply bebe elephant. The name Babar came out of nowhere, de Brunhoff said, but soon his father was filling a big spiral notebook ...


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