Frenchman Jean de Brunhoff is considered to be one of the greatest picture book authors in history.
Born in Paris, de Brunhoff was the fourth and last child of a successful publisher. He enjoyed a prestigious education, before joining the French army and fighting on the front lines at the end of the First World War. After the armistice, he decided to become a professional artist and studied painting at the Academie de la Grand Chamiere in Montparnasse.
"If you love elephants, you will love Babar and Celeste," writes A. A. Milne in his preface to "The Story of Babar". "And if you have never loved elephants, you will love them now."