Babar’s country, a land of picture books

BEAU, Nathalie (2014) Babar’s country, a land of picture books. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2014 - Lyon - Libraries, Citizens, Societies: Confluence for Knowledge in Session 222 - Libraries for Children and Young Adults. In: IFLA WLIC 2014, 16-22 August 2014, Lyon, France.

Bookmark or cite this item: http://library.ifla.org/id/eprint/1057
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Language: French (Original)
Available under licence Creative Commons Attribution.

Abstract

Babar’s country, a land of picture books

Babar is the most well-known French elephant around the world! Published in 1931, l’Histoire de Babar, the first volume of the series created by Jean de Brunhoff is a model of picture book both in form and in content. It’s a big book to be able to contain an elephant, the layout is always adapted to serve the sense and to enhance it, the text is handwritten like by a child, which makes it familiar with the reader. The content takes children seriously, showing that life goes on even when the worst happen, and also that it’s very important to discover others ways of living. With a few exceptions and particularly “les albums du Père Castor”, the development of French picture books has been rather slow until the 1980’s. From that point, a proactive policy of developing public reading, at school and in a lot of new libraries, has strengthen the presence of picture books in all the different spaces of children’s life. A lot of very good picture books have been translated in French and progressively French creators have been more and more interested by the freedom of this space of expression. Today, they are recognized internationally as some of the most talented in the world. Pictures books are always in evolution to win the readers, children and adults, to teaching them how to read pictures, to let discover that there are so many different ways to represent the world, to open them to Art.

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