Cecile de Brunhoff

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Cecile de Brunhoff
Born Cecile Sabouraud
(1903-10-16)October 16, 1903
Paris, France
Died April 7, 2003(2003-04-07) (aged 99)
Paris, France
Occupation Writer
Nationality French
Alma mater École Normale de Musique de Paris[1]
Genre Children's literature
Notable works Babar the Elephant
Spouse Jean de Brunhoff (husband)[2]
Children Laurent,[3] Mathieu, and Thierry de Brunhoff

Cecile de Brunhoff (née Sabouraud) (October 16, 1903 – April 7, 2003) was a French storyteller and the creator of the original Babar story. She was also a classically trained pianist.[4][5][6]

The Babar books began as a bedtime story de Brunhoff invented for her children, Mathieu and Laurent, when they were four and five years old, respectively. She was trying to comfort Mathieu, who was sick. The boys liked the story of the little elephant who left the jungle for a city resembling Paris so much that they took it to their father Jean de Brunhoff, a painter, and asked him to illustrate it.[citation needed] He turned it into a picture book, with text, which was published by a family-run publishing house, Le jardin des modes.[7] Originally, it was planned that the book's title page would describe the story as told by Jean and Cécile de Brunhoff. However, she had her name removed; according to her son Mathieu this was due to modesty, and her opinion that her contribution was minor.[8]

Due to the role she played in the genesis of the Babar story, many sources continue to refer to her as the creator of the Babar story.[9][10][11]

Her husband Jean went on to write and illustrate six more Babar children's books which made the series popular worldwide. Her son Laurent de Brunhoff has carried on the family tradition of writing and illustrating Babar books.[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Cécile de Brunhoff, 99, Creator of Babar". The New York Times. 2003-04-08. Retrieved 2010-08-26. 
  2. ^ "Co-creator of Babar the Elephant". London: Independent. 2003-04-10. Retrieved 2010-08-26. 
  3. ^ "Phyllis Rose, Writer and Critic, Weds Laurent de Brunhoff, 'Babar' Author". The New York Times. 1990-05-20. Retrieved 2010-08-26. 
  4. ^ "Cecile De Brunhoff; Creator Of Babar". Washington Post. 2003-04-10. Retrieved 2010-08-26. 
  5. ^ "Cécile de Brunhoff". London: Daily Telegraph. 2003-04-09. Retrieved 2009-03-14. 
  6. ^ "'Babar' Creator Dead At 99". CBS News. 2003-04-08. Retrieved 2010-08-26. 
  7. ^ Christine Nelson, Drawing Babar: Early Drafts and Watercolors (New York: The Morgan Library and Museum, 2008), pp. 17-18
  8. ^ Paul Lewis (April 8, 2003). "Cécile de Brunhoff, Creator of Babar, Dies at 99". New York Times. Retrieved 2013-01-30. 
  9. ^ "'Babar' Creator Dead At 99". CBS. Associated Press. February 11, 2009. Retrieved 2013-01-30. 
  10. ^ "Cecile de Brunhoff Creator of 'Babar the Elephant'". Variety Media, LLC. April 23, 2003. Retrieved 2013-01-30. 
  11. ^ Paul Lewis (April 8, 2003). "Cécile de Brunhoff, Creator of Babar, Dies at 99". New York Times. Retrieved 2013-01-30. 
  12. ^ Levin, Ann (2008-09-23). "Babar the elephant gets NYC museum show". USA Today. Retrieved 2013-01-30.