This year marks the 80th Anniversary since Babar the Elephant books were first published in the UK, and to mark the occasion a nationwide search has been launched to find original Babar fans from the 1930’s onwards.
The classic children’s character, adored by millions over the past eight decades, was created by artist Jean de Brunhoff and first published in France in 1931. Two years later, the English-language version of de Brunhoff’s first book, The Story of Babar, was published in the UK with an introduction by the author of Winnie the Pooh, AA Milne.
In order to support the 80th year celebrations, fans of the Babar books are encouraged to get in touch via the Babar Twitter account (@Babar_UK) and Facebook page (www.facebook.com/OfficialBabarUK) to share their love of reading the stories and to talk about passing the books on to their children. The theme of the search is centred on the idea of ‘80 years of sharing.’
To date, the Babar stories have been translated into 17 languages and over 12 million copies of the books have been sold worldwide. There are 42 Babar titles in the series and a selection of the original books are published in the UK by Egmont Press.
Tim Jones, Publisher, from Egmont Press said: “The Babar stories are true classics of children’s literature. De Brunhoff’s magical illustrations really bring Babar’s world to life- and generations of children have thrilled to his adventures. Happy Birthday Babar!”
Babar’s 80th Anniversary in the UK will be marked by a series of celebratory events across the year. The events will be designed to engaging a multi-generational army of Babar fans, as well as new audiences who are yet to fall in love with this enduring and endearing character.
To kick start the 80th anniversary year, a menswear range was launched by Copenhagen-based label Soulland, featuring vintage illustrations of Babar, which is available at The Goodhood Store in London. Fans of the collection include Kelly Brook and Henry Holland.
Silas Adler, founder and head designer of Soulland, who created the range, comments: “I have been a fan of the Babar universe since I was four years old. I was particularly inspired by a story from the first book, where Babar goes to the tailor to get his first suit – a bright green suit. I like the link and the relevance to menswear in that story.”