The Travels of Babar
Jean de Brunhoff ~ Random House, 1934
So, the boy's BFF had given him a CD of stories downloaded off Kiddie Records Weekly, and we listened to it nonstop on the drive back from Mexico this summer. One record in particular about Babar really stuck in my mind. I had all the Babar books when I was little, but this record was based on one I remembered, but didn't know the name of... that is until I found it at a thrift shop last week. Remember when Babar and his sexy cousin Celeste head out on their hot air balloon honeymoon at the end of The Story of Babar? Well, this is what happened on that ill-fated rendezvous....
Blown out over the sea by the wind, the balloon is suddenly caught by a violent storm. Babar and Celeste tremble with fear and cling with all their might to the basket of the balloon.
So yea, the balloon crashes, setting off a series of events that get stranger and stranger with each page: fierce cannibals, a whale ride, being sold to the circus, a skiing trip to the mountains, a war with the rhinos as well as eleven singing canaries and a cunning little monkey.
Really, the adventure is high in this one. Hands down probably the best Babar book ever, and it doesn't include any somber moments at all about that unfortunate business of Babar's mommy getting gunned down that so taints the first book. As the Kiddie Records Weekly version sings... "Long live King Babar, ditto Queen. Of all the elephants, they're of the best." Here, here.