Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Babar’s World Tour

Babar’s World Tour

Laurent de Brunhoff
Picture Book  Series
For ages 4 to 8
Harry Abrams, 2005   ISBN: 978-0810957800

Babar, the king of the elephants, has decided that he wants to take his family on a tour of the world. There are so many countries to visit and Babar seems to want to visit them all. In each country Babar teaches his children how to speak at least a few words of greetings or thanks in the local language. It is a little confusing at times, trying to remember how to say hello in German or thank you in Russian and Isabelle wonders why the people in these other countries don't use the same words she does. She learns that in every country people have their own language, their own customs, their own dress, and their own cuisine. It is these differences that make international travel so interesting.

There comes a time though when the children are not really interested in learning new words or in seeing new things. They seem to want to stay in one place and to do everyday ordinary sorts of things. Though Celeste seems to understand what the children are feeling, it takes Babar a little longer to see that there is such a thing as too much world travel.

On this world wind tour of some of the world's most famous countries and cities, children will get a brief taste of what Moscow and India, Paris and Spain, Thailand and Mexico are like and perhaps their interest will be piqued when they see the pyramids and palaces, the glorious cathedrals and the street cafes. More importantly they will discover that there are people all over the world who do things in very different ways, in interesting ways, and it is the differences between us that make travel to other countries so fascinating.

Laurent de Brunhoff has once again given Babar the role of being his children's teacher and guide, just as he did in "Babar's Museum of Art" and it is role that the king of elephants is perfectly suited for. Babar fans of all ages will love the large format of this picture book and will enjoy seeing Babar and his family in all sorts of famous international settings.