About 15 years ago, one of my long-held beliefs was shattered. I was in the Borders Express bookstore one day, and happened to notice a VERY familiar book cover from my childhood. Only, I’d never heard of The Saggy Baggy Elephant or of Little Golden Books. Not in English anyway. That cover illustration belonged to Pouf-Patapouf L’Elephant, one of my mother’s childhood books which now belonged to me! It was from 1947, and the elephant’s name was Sooki. It was Zazou! It was a French book, with that particular edition from 1947!
It came crashing down on me. This beautiful book, which had been published even before my mother was born, was NOT a French original. Sure, it was published in France but it was actually a translation! What a disappointment.
Regardless of its origin, I will always call it my “Pouf-Patapouf book.” Saggy Baggy just doesn’t sound right in my ears. At least no one can take Babar le petit elephant from me. Now he really is French! #nationalelephantappreciationday