“Clickety Click—Barba Trick”
If you recognize today’s doodle, then you probably know what that sound is: Barbapapa is changing forms again! For those of us who are new to the magic of this wonderful family of technicolor shapes, Barbapapa is a series of children’s books, started in Paris, France 45 years ago on a beautiful day in May. The authors were a French-American couple, Annette Tison and Talus Taylor.
The pair came up with the concept for these kooky characters at the Luxembourg Gardens when Taylor, a non-french-speaker, overhead a nearby child asking for “baa baa paa paa.” Confused, Taylor asked his wife, Annette what the child meant. She explained that barbe à papa, is literally translated as “father’s beard,” but also means cotton candy. Later, inspired by the adorable jumble of sounds and the image of a pink-candy-floss beardy-fellow, the couple sketched out a rotund character on a napkin: Barbapapa was born.
Barbapapa is a friendly and caring creature, always ready to help and use his powers of shapeshifting to benefit others. His adventures lead him to become a town hero and meet a lovely she-barba, a lady in black named Barbamama. In the doodle you can see Barbapapa and Barbamama proudly standing behind their children. Each of the children have a special talent or interest:
Barbabelle, the beauty queen (purple)
Barbabravo, an athlete and mystery buff (red)
Barbalib, an academic (orange)
Barbabright, a scientist (blue)
Barbabeau, an artist (black and furry)
Barbalala, a musician (green)
Barbazoo, a nature lover (yellow)
Today’s doodle is important not just because Barbapapa has brought joy to families all over the world. We also want to memorialize Talus Taylor, who passed away this year. The beautiful books he created with his wife, Annette have been translated into over 30 languages worldwide, and transformed into comics and a television series, delighting us all with reminders of family, love, kindness and a deep respect for the environment.
Barbapapa © 2015 Alice Taylor & Thomas Taylor All Rights Reserved