Babar – The Shocking Truth

Last year, shortly before Christmas, my aunt posted one of those things on Facebook where you’re supposed to list the ten books that most influenced you, as fast as you can, without editing yourself. She tagged several of my family members in her post, and this transpired.


As you can see, I was quite taken aback by my mom’s revelation that she not only didn’t like “The Little Engine That Could”, but she likely skipped pages while reading it to me. And skipping pages during Babar! I loved Babar even more…I mean, an elephant that wears clothes and has adventures around town? What’s not to like? The font, apparently.


As I wondered what damage had been done by missing chunks of stories as a child, my uncle Michael commented that they’d read Babar to me if my mother wouldn’t. I laughed and forgot about it.

We met my Uncle Michael and Aunt Kathy for lunch in St. Petersburg, Florida over Christmas. A couple weeks had passed since the Babar conversation, but they’d remembered it and brought “The Story of Babar” with them to lunch. My mom immediately began making reparations.


It was interesting to read this book as an adult.


Sounds innocent enough. And then…


Um…Babar married his cousin? No wonder my mom skipped pages!

After lunch we went to a used bookstore that was awesome because it featured computers made out of cats.

I went to the children’s book section in search of more answers about Babar.


Apparently Babar was fully committed to his cousin marriage!


Now Celeste is just referred to as the wife, sweeping that whole cousin thing right under the rug.

I wonder how many other books from my childhood feature scandals I never thought to question as a kid?


8 responses to “Babar – The Shocking Truth

  1. I loved Babar as a kid, though I had no idea about the cousin thing!

    So I have to comment on your aunt’s name because that’s my mom’s name and it’s a very uncommon name! Is your family French or French Canadian?

    • I am part French, but a very small part, from what I understand. I’m Dutch and German from my dad’s side and English, Irish, French, and Welsh from my mom’s side.
      My great grandmother’s name was Aline, and my aunt’s name, and Aline is one of my middle names. I’ve never heard it used outside my family–what a coincidence!

      • Wow! You’re all kinds of mixed European! How cool! Do you pronounce it ah-lean or ah-lin?. My mom pronounces hers ah-lin, though for some reason her sisters (and only her sisters) call her ah-lean.

      • By the way, it’s so interesting that different family members pronounce her name in different ways.
        Are you guys French or French Canadian? I guess I never gave much thought to the origin of the name!

  2. Okay, first of all, will I ever live this down, or will this be the signature story about my mothering that gets told over and over at every Christmas, Easter and Fourth of July? Second, please forgive me for skipping pages on certain books, and–much more importantly–give me credit for all the wonderful books I read with you and loved with you; if you want titles, I can supply them! Not to mention Witches Find a New Playhouse, which I wrote for you!! Your loving Mom

    • Haha! Actually, I remember reading books to younger kids at the baby sitter and I’d skip pages too, so I can hardly judge you for it. Kids’ books are very repetitive.
      You get full credit for reading to me! I don’t remember that witches story although the title sounds familiar. I’d like you to read that to me the next time I see you, please.

  3. Deal! . . . And I’m so glad to hear you admit to skipping pages too! (I know we’re not the only ones!)

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