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The following day on a family outing, Alexander sees a similar bird flying overhead. Sure that it must be his wizard, he races after it, eager to see more magic. But Alexander quickly learns that ...
The following day on a family outing, Alexander sees a similar bird flying overhead. Sure that it must be his wizard, he races after it, eager to see more magic. But Alexander quickly learns that things are not always as they appear.
Laurent de Brunhoof's warm and enchanting watercolors bring to life the world of Babar and his family, who have captivated and charmed readers since 1931.
A beautiful bird with sparkling colors and magical powers visits Babar's son, Alexander, in the middle of the night.
Posted May 15, 2001
If you are like me, Babar stories are among your favorites. Hopefully, they are your children's favorites too. This is a new story from Laurent de Brunhoff. As much as I like the story, I must say that I like the illustrations even more. This is one of the most beautifully illustrated of all the Babar stories. One night in Celesteville, Alexander (King Babar's and Queen Celeste's elephant son) awakens. Drawn by the bright light coming through the window, he walks out onto the terrace to look at the moon. But there is no moon. The light is caused by a beautiful red and gold bird with sparkling feathers. The bird says, 'Tash! Succotash! What are you doing here so late?' Alexander replies, 'I can't sleep.' The bird says that he is a wizard, and asks Alexander if he wants to play parachute or swing-swing. Alexander doesn't know what either one is. He chooses swing-swing, and soon he floating in the air, swinging gently back and forth and left to right. Alexander loves it. The wizard eventually returns Alexander to the terrace and persuades him to return to sleep. Since Alexander has had such a good time, he wants to know if the wizard will come back to play with him again. The wizard says that he may, but issues a warning. 'But remember, there are good and bad wizards, and sometimes it's hard to tell friend from foe.' The very next day, the elephant family goes for a walk and Alexander spots another bird, this time a brown one, that says 'Succotash!' And the adventure begins in a new direction. The moral of this story is that life is full of right and wrong mixed together, like succotash is 'lima beans cooked up with corn.' Youngsters need to be on the look out. All humans are inclined to draw patterns in their minds that may or may not be present. You have a wonderful time with a new friend, and expect that the next time will be exactly the same. But you may have met that person on the happiest day of his or her life, and the next time you see the person is the saddest. Also, because your aunt and uncle are nice, that doesn't mean someone else's aunt and uncle will be, too. I thought that this book was unusually good in helping a child establish a sense of skepticism and distinction, rather than extrapolating blindly from the last experience. If this lesson can be learned well, your child's life will be much happier and more successful. Nice writing! After you finish enjoying this story, I suggest that you think about where you and your child may be drawing false conclusions from incomplete or misleading evidence. For example, if you and your child went to the aquarium on a day when it was crowded and she or he was sick, perhaps you had a bad time and have avoided the aquarium since then. If so, perhaps you should try again on a not-so-crowded day when both of you feel terrific. Look for the best and worst, and embrace the best! Donald Mitchell, co-author of The Irresistible Growth Enterprise and The 2,000 Percent SolutionWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.