Tuesday, December 18, 2007

For Love of Barbapapa

In Summer 2006 we travelled to Iceland and while wandering around downtown Reykjavik, I discovered Barbapapa!

Written in the '70s by Annette Tison and Talus Taylor, the Barbapapa characters were created as a book series and made into a TV program. Where were you Barbapapa in my childhood? These loving, shape changing blobs, Barbapapa and Barbamama, have seven children. Each amorphous child has a distinct persona, Meet the Barbapapas.

The Barbapapa flagship series books are available in French. I found Barbapapa Babysitter at a Belgian, children's book store, Tropismes, located next to chocolate shops- I was in heaven. You can order internationally and they speak English. Many wonderful children's books are never translated, so I always enjoy the diversity of foreign language books.

I don't believe Barbapapa had widespread distribution in the US market. I found some English copies on ebay and Amazon, but I think they came by way of Canada. Nevertheless, the pictures open up unlimited stories about emotions, ecology, family, space, music and manners. And on the official Barbapapa site you will find well designed games for young children. We also like Peepandthebigwideworld for educational games.
Here is a little entertainment for a rainy day- like today in San Francisco.


  1. I saw these books somewhere in the Us, but can't remember exctly where (Borders, Barnes and Noble, some other bookshop). Thanks for the games websites - ideal for a rainy day when you have to pack and the girls want to play and have fun. Maria

  2. Thanks Maria- I amended my post. These books are worth finding!

  3. I want to recommend Barbapapa Le Jardin...or in English "The Garden." (Actually, I'm not sure if it can be found in English!) My 4 year old son loves this one, even though my translation is awful, the pictures tell the story of the Barbapapa's building a greenhouse so that they can eat fresh fruit and veggies all winter long. These books were really ahead of their time...with the future in mind. Timeless!

  4. I think I remember these (and the Smurfs) from when my Dad was stationed in Germany (Air Force) in the 70's...

    Great blog, it may take me days to hit all the links. Thanks!

  5. Hi Nancy - so pleased to find out you love barbapapa too! I've posted about barbapapas today:
    Hope you like it!


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