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Monday, 29 August 2011

Babar's Celesteville Games An Original Laurent De Brunhoff Book

Babar's children have all grown up. He and Celeste take them to the Celesteville Games. All the best animal athletes will be there to compete. Babar's daughter Flora falls in love with a young athlete, Corriander, from the country of Mirza. They decide to marry and all of Celesteville is invited.

This new book, written by Laurent de Brunhoff (son of Jean de Bruhoff, who first bought Babar to life in 1931) coincides with the 80th anniversary of Babar.
It is a book about sportsmanship,love and diversity and is a must read in anticipation to next year 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London.

This book is a lovely introduction for children to the Olympic Games, with the story including the Opening Ceremony and some events. The story inlcudes many different countries taking part. 

One part of the story is a love story for Babar's daughter, Flora, and ends with a marriage. Flora marries Cory (short for Coriander) who is  Mirzi (is of Persian origin, denoting the rank of a high nobleman or Prince) and the marriage is included within the story with the beautiful gowns and decorations pictured and described.

I think this book would suit an older child (7+) because  the story is quite long, with lots of word per page, however it is a lovely story which  I am sure children will enjoy reading themselves or listening to being read to.

One thing that i love about this book is the illustrations, they remind me of the original Babar books, the simple, pencil drawings that have been brightly e.g.coloured, but coloured accurately There are some tigers within the story, and are in the illustrations, coloured as they would be in the wild. There is lots of energy conveyed within the pictures and even if children are unable to read the words of the story, they will enjoy looking through the pictures and recounting the story from the pictures alone.

The story has many  of the qualities of the original stories, however it also has a modern twist, with modern technology included within the story, i.e. mobile phones and skype, however the traditional storytelling remains as the earlier books.

I would recommend this book to children who are looking forward to the Olympic Games next year, to Babar fans of all ages or anyone who wants to share a good story with a child. As i have previously said, I think the book would appeal to older children due to the longer story, however younger children would enjoy the pictures and the story could be shortened by the story teller to keep their interest.

An excellent addition to the Babar series, and a great celebration of the 80th year anniversary of this lovely elephant.

Thank you to the publishers, Abrams and Chronicles, for sending me the book to review.

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