Isle of Golden Dreams: Babar on Paradise Island by Laurent de Brunhoff
BABAR AND CELESTE WITH THEIR FAMILY AND THEIR FRIEND, THE OLD LADY, LEFT THE CELESTVILLE MARINA FOR A DAY ON THE WATER.
Their boat might have very well been named "The Minnow," because the group has hardly settled down to enjoy their "three-hour tour" when a huge storm blows in and wrecks their ship just off the shore of a seemingly deserted island.
But the elephants easily walk ashore, Babar with the Old Lady riding high and dry on his back, and find this island quite to their taste. It has yellow sandy beaches, tropical flora, and frondy palm trees all around.
While the rest of the family relaxes near the beach, Babar sets out to explore the island's interior and discovers it is not, as he thought, uninhabited. He meets a very large creature that looks a bit familiar!
But this dragon is lonely for company and pitches in with Babar to help build shelters and find water and foodstuffs to make the castaways comfortable while they wait for rescue. And unlike those hapless survivors of The Minnow (who, after all, had a lot of air time to fill) Babar and Celeste soon hear the cheerful "chop chop" of the rescue 'copter to take them home, leaving their new dragon friend waving fondly from his own Paradise.
Laurent de Brunhoff carries on the family tradition in his latest, the shipwreck and rescue adventure of King Babar, Babar on Paradise Island (Abrams, 2014). All the charming and familiar elements of de Brunhoff's father, Jean de Brunhoff's classic stories are there--big, round, well-dressed gray elephants in a gentle outdoor adventure and a simple reassuring conclusion in the company of a close-knit extended family. As Kirkus Reviews jokes, "de Brunhoff's too smart to mess with a successful formula. Familiarity here breeds contentment."