The Rescue of Babar

Laurent de Brunhoff, Author Random House Books for Young Readers $20 (1p) ISBN 978-0-679-83897-5
In this adventure within an adventure, Babar is kidnapped while on a camping trip with his youngest daughter, Isabelle. When the plucky little pachyderm sets off through the woods to find Babar, she meets up with a lion, a monkey and a snake, all of whom offer their services to help locate her missing father. The snake shows them a door hidden in a boulder; it is the entrance to a tunnel that leads to an elaborate city built inside the crater of a volcano. Here--masterfully rendered in de Brunhoff's characteristically lively watercolors that fill the oversized pages--the residents are striped elephants who dress in togas and carry lyres ``which they stroked now and then to produce lovely music.'' In a typically inventive twist, the author has Isabelle buy an ice cream from a vendor for the price of singing a song (she chooses ``Happy Birthday''). She then tackles the task at hand, and with great aplomb rescues Babar from his captors. Accompanied by her animal friends, Isabelle and her father make a triumphant return to Celesteville, bringing this particularly charming caper to a festive close. Ages 4-8. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/04/1993
Release date: 10/01/1993
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