Death of Babar’s Mother — Jean de Brunhoff

In early drafts for the first Babar book, Jean de Brunhoff opened the story with this episode showing the death of Babar’s mother. In the published book, he began instead with the reassuring image of Babar’s mother rocking him to sleep in a hammock. At this stage in his composition process, Jean had not yet given his protagonist the name “Babar” — he was called simply “Baby Elephant.”