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The Folio Society produces a limited edition of Jean de Brunhoff’s The Story of Babar

Collaboration with The Morgan Library & Museum reproduces sketches and illustrations.

The Folio Society
The Folio Society

©The Folio Society

The Folio Society is to produce only 750 copies, hand-numbered on a certificate printed on Marcate Nettuno paper, of Jean de Brunhoff’s The Story of Babar.

The book follows the incredible journey of le petit éléphant from bedtime tale to one of the most memorable and loved children’s stories of all time. Histoire de Babar follows a young orphaned elephant, who seeks refuge in a city after a hunter kills his mother. He meets the benevolent Old Lady and is introduced to the magical world of tailored suits, fine dining and pampered living. This endearing narrative, paired with Brunhoff ’s exquisite illustrations, has ensured Babar’s universal and enduring appeal. The sketches and maquette are printed on Abbey Lynx Paper.

Jean de Brunhoff ’s original artwork for Histoire de Babar is held in the archives of The Morgan Library & Museum in New York, but is too fragile for permanent public display. Working with The Morgan, The Folio Society has faithfully reproduced the first sketches of Babar, de Brunhoff ’s original handmade mock-up book (maquette) and a facsimile of the French first-edition of the published book.

The Folio Society

©The Folio Society

The Story of Babar includes a commentary volume, bringing together a selection of writing on both Babar and de Brunhoff as well as a detailed annotation of each of the sketches and the maquette alongside thumbnail reproductions of every page. The commentary opens with Faïza Guène’s newly commissioned essay ‘The Go-Between’, and includes New Yorker columnist Adam Gopnik’s essay ‘Freeing the Elephants’ and Christine Nelson’s essay ‘Babar Begins’. The first edition is newly translated into English, from the original French, by Christine Nelson and Sophie Lewis.

Laurent de Brunhoff, the son of Jean de Brunhoff who took over the series after his father’s death, has said: “We are completely blown away by the edition you’ve done of The Story of Babar!! It’s simply MAGNIFICENT. I’m almost afraid to touch it, it’s so beautiful!”

The Folio Society

©The Folio Society

The Folio Society’s limited edition of The Story of Babar, by Jean de Brunhoff, with archive material from The Morgan Library & Museum including essays by Faïza Guène, Adam Gopnik and Christine Nelson, is available exclusively from


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