Babar at Home – Jean de Brunhoff

More in the Series – Babar
“More in the Series” scores the other books in a series where one (or more) of the books have made it into the 1001 Books list. Mostly because I’m a bit of a completionist. 

POINTS: 1 out of 10.

Bechdel: 0 points
Variety of characters: 0 points
Good story:  1 point
Discretionary ideological points: 0 points

This one is marginally better than the last one. Still no Bechdel pass, nor is there any real diversity. This one also still reads in that colonial register.

But, perhaps because it is focussed on the home and Babar and Celeste’s triplet babies, it is not quite so full of totally horrible colonial notions, and it’s a bit easier to be forgiving of the flaws in the story.

This one is essentially the story of the birth and early childhood of Babar’s children. There are various episodes of baby elephant hijinks. Flora nearly chokes, Alexander floats down-river in Babar’s hat and has a run in with a crocodile, from which Babar rescues him. It’s all a bit adventurous and has a small tinge of that “What ho! Growing up in Africa is rollicking good fun, old chap!” stuff going on.

Plotwise it’s episodic. I wasn’t that impressed. C still likes them well enough, and the whole hat/river/crocodile episode got his attention.

I mean, it’s not quite as eye-rollingly colonial as the previous books, but if the best I can say about it is that it’s not as bad as the others, that’s not that impressive. I know these books are meant to be greats of the kid-canon, but honestly, I think you could skip them very easily.

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