A Vintage Skiing Elephant – Babar in the Snow


Vintage Skiing Babar


Double joy! Vintage skiing and everyone’s favourite elephant, Babar! Swopping his bright green suit for some stylish 1930s ski threads, he looks just as much at home on the snow as he does in the city. This image was saved from a gorgeous Babar calendar that my sister gave me back in the 1980s. I’ve been a fan for a while now…


Vintage Babar in the Snow

That can’t have been too comfortable for baby Babar nestled up with a pair of sticks and skis in that rucksack. This cute little book was lovingly battered and abused by, presumably, Andrew and Lorraine.


Vintage Babar in the Snow

Babar in the Snow crash


Loving the chunky jumper and natty little red cap which matches his skis. Hope there are some plasters in that vintage rucksack…  Maybe a few lessons would be a good idea – though this looks more like a baby Babar here.


Babar's ski lesson


And it’s not long before he’s jumping! Little game for the little ones – how many S’s can you see in this picture?


1934 - A B C de Babar - Lettre S


Multi-talented Babar speaks many languages but his mother tongue is French, of course. Jean and Laurent were father and son but it seems that it was Laurent’s mother, Cécile,  who originally invented the stories which their father illustrated so charmingly. Laurent taught himself to draw Babar after his father died from TB at the tender age of 37. And Laurent’s brother, Michel – who was by then editor of French Vogue – oversaw the publication of all the Babar books which then followed.


Vintage Babar


Sometimes it gets tough out there. When Babar goes in search of Father Christmas, the journey is arduous and fraught with danger – not least from Santa’s protective elves. In fact, poor old Babar ends up in a bit of a hole.


Vintage Babar

Babar in a blizzard

Vintage Babar


Fortunately, he finds himself quite literally dropping in on Santa’s secret grotto where a warm welcome awaits our intrepid hero. And happily he lives to ski another day in another cool hat.


Babar and faithful friend






4 thoughts on “A Vintage Skiing Elephant – Babar in the Snow

  1. Adore the Babar story, he was a favourite in our family too. He was the hero of many a bedtime story for our three and I wouldn’t be surprised if Josie still has a copy or two! But I never knew the history of the family authors!

    • Apparantly, Cécile didn’t feel she merited mention as one of the authors so her name never appeared on the covers. What a shame! She did however live to the grand old age of 99 and no doubt enjoyed re-telling the stories to all her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Lucky Josie if she does have a few vintage copies on the bookshelf!

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